Portland, Ore. – If you have questions on the new Oregon Bottle Bill that went into effect on April 1st, 2017, you’re not alone. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on the topic:
Q: I have containers that I bought before April 1 that say “OR 5¢” on them. How much will I get when I return them now?
A: Any containers returned starting April 1 will be redeemed at 10 cents no matter when they were purchased, even if they say “OR 5¢” on the container.
Q: A store charged me a 10 cent deposit on a beverage that shows “OR 5¢” on the label. Is that legal?
A: Yes. Retailers may now charge a deposit of 10 cents per container.
Q: Do stores still have to take back the same number of containers as when the refund value was 5 cents?
A: Yes. For example, if a store had to take back 144 containers per person per day when the refund value was 5 cents, they still have to take back 144 containers per person per day now that the refund value is 10 cents.
Q: The store where I shop is selling beverages marked with “OR 5¢”. Is it okay for those beverages to still be sold in Oregon?
A: Yes. Governor Brown signed a bill allowing containers marked with “OR 5¢” to be sold in Oregon as late as September 30, 2018. However, when those empty containers are returned they must be redeemed at 10 cents.
Q: Does this increase to 10 cents also increase the types of beverages covered under Oregon’s Bottle Bill?
A: No. Until January 1, 2018, the only beverages covered are beer, water, and soft drinks. However, effective January 1, 2018 all beverages except distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milks, and infant formula will be covered. The beverages covered effective January 1 will include, but not be limited to, hard cider, juice, sports drinks, tea, and coffee.
Q: Did the refund value increase to 10 cents to generate money for the State of Oregon?
A: No. The State doesn’t receive any proceeds from container returns. The refund value was required to increase to 10 cents when the redemption rate dropped below 80% for two years in a row, which it did in 2014 and 2015. The redemption rate does not include containers recycled at curbside.
Q: Where can I get more information about this refund value increase and about the Bottle Bill in general?
A: The OLCC’s Bottle Bill page has lots of information about the Bottle Bill, including informational signs, a listing of redemption centers, more extensive FAQs, and more. You can also email to Bottle.Bill@oregon.gov with specific questions.
Starting April 1st, the OLCC wants to remind you that the redemption value for containers covered under Oregon’s Bottle Bill will increase from 5 cents to 10 cents.
If you redeem your bottles before the 1st, you’ll only get 5 cents each. So wait until April Fools Day to take those containers in!
Here’s a list of containers eligible for a refund under Oregon’s Bottle Bill (3 liters or less):
Soda Water/Mineral Water
Carbonated Soft Drinks
And if you’re a store owner, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has some cool online stuff availble for you to download and post in your stores reminding customers about the increase.
Any questions not answered here, visit Oregon.gov/OLCC/pages/bottle_bill.aspx