Press Release – Bottle Bill Sent to Governor

19 12 2008

From a Michigan Senate press release –

Bills to stop bottle deposit fraud sent to governor

LANSING — Legislation to help prevent Michigan from losing more than $10 million annually in fraudulent bottle deposit refunds is on its way to the governor, said bill sponsors Sens. Ron Jelinek and Cameron S. Brown.

The bipartisan, bicameral package of legislation requires reverse vending machines (RVM) to be retrofitted with new technology to prevent out-of-state bottles and cans from being returned in Michigan for the 10-cent deposit.

“Today is a great day for the state and for our retailers along the border who are taking the brunt of the fraud and will now have a means of preventing it from happening,” said Jelinek, R-Three Oaks. “This new technology will do wonders to keep out-of-state containers from being redeemed in Michigan and to keep state money in the state.”

The legislation:

> Requires unique markings on returnable beverage containers sold in Michigan designating them  as Michigan-only;

> Requires reverse vending machines used in Michigan to correctly identify and reject non-Michigan bought beverage containers;

> Establishes a fund to help reimburse manufacturers for the costs of the RVM retrofits in the two tiers of counties along Michigan’s southern border as required by the new law; and

> Revises and adds new penalties for consumers who return and dealers who accept out-of-state containers.

“This problem has been neglected for far too long and is especially acute along the border counties,” said Brown, R-Fawn River Twp. “As chair of the Michigan Beverage Container and Recycling Task Force, I am pleased to see this legislative package advance to the governor. Addressing fraudulent redemptions was a key component of the task force’s 2003 report and these bills will help collect revenue the state is currently losing. They will also help retailers who administer the bottle returns by paying for the cost of the upgrades to their reverse vending machines.”

The bills in the package are Senate Bills 1532 and 1648 and House Bills 5147, 6441 and 6442.


Los Angeles May Ban Plastic Shopping Bags

23 07 2008

Usually, I would say I hate anything to do with California, but finally there’s a story from the west coast that doesn’t involve a sex tape and actually makes sense.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban plastic carryout bags in the city’s supermarkets and stores by July 2010 — but only if the state fails to impose a 25-cent fee on every shopper who requests them.“This is a major moment for our city, to bite the bullet and go with something that is more ecologically sensitive than what we’ve ever done before,” said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents such coastal neighborhoods as Venice and Playa del Rey.

Council members said they hope an impending ban would spur consumers to begin carrying canvas or other reusable bags, reducing the amount of plastic that washes into the city’s storm drains and the ocean.


So, it’s not a ban yet, but it could be.  Even the $.25 tax on plastic shopping bags is a good idea.  We’ve got four reusable bags hanging by our door right now and I always feel bad when we go to Horrock’s and forget to grab them.  It happens more than I’d like, but at least at Horrock’s they have the option for paper. Read the rest of this entry »

Bottled Water Return?

17 06 2008

The LSJ ran a story I first told you about a month ago.

The Michigan United Conservation Clubs said Tuesday that within a few years, sales of non-carbonated drinks will exceed soft drink sales.

Michigan’s bottle deposit law, passed by voters in 1976, imposes a dime deposit on soft drink, beer, malt beverage and wine cooler containers.

People return 97 percent of containers for which they pay a deposit. But they recycle only 20 percent of bottled water containers because no deposit is required. Read the rest of this entry »

Bill To Clamp Down on Illegal Bottle Returns

12 06 2008

From a press release.

LANSING – Legislation to better regulate and control bottle returns was introduced today in the Senate, announced Sens. Ron Jelinek and Cameron S. Brown, both border district lawmakers and lead sponsors of the measures.


The five-bill package is designed to prevent bottles and cans not purchased in Michigan from being returned in state. The containers are returned, sometimes by the truckload, by individuals and organized smuggling rings that make large profits off Michigan businesses. These illegal operations cost the state $13 million a year.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Bottle Return Expansion

20 05 2008

One of the new things I had to learn upon moving to Michigan is saving cans.  It’s one of those things I’m kind of shocked that every state doesn’t do, but it took me a while to get used to it.  Now, I have a garbage bag hanging in my closet and everytime I finish a Pepsi, the can goes in that garbage….not the regular one.

I was more than a little surprised that the bottle return includes pop and beer, but not bottled water.  For a while, my girlfriend and I used to go through at least a case a week.  We finally realized all the waste and bought a Brita Water Pitcher.  That cut down drastically on all the waste we contributing. 

I came across a blurb in a newspaper a few weeks ago about HB 6000 which will ammend the current bottle return law to include bottled water. I contacted the bill’s sponsor Rep. Mark Meadows of East Lansing to see why change now. 

…the buying public’s taste has changed from carbonated beverages to bottled water. We are now finding increased litter from the latter on roadsides etc. We need to develop a system to recycle/reuse water bottles. That is why I introduced the bill.

I think this is a great idea.  There’s criticism right now because the retail industry feels like they are becoming Michigan’s trash collectors.  I don’t buy that at all.  We all need to take responsibility.  If the citizens of Michigan are willing to collect trash in their home in order to recycle then the stores should take the responsibility to recycle.  It’s win-win for everyone.  I don’t see a loser here.