How Three Bottle Bill Proposals Are Playing Out

A Maine bill removing large beverage containers from the deposit program has died, while a Michigan bill that would add containers lives on. In Hawaii, meanwhile, an effort to completely eliminate the bottle bill failed. Read more in our update of bottle bill-related legislation.

Legislative Document 1204 would have removed containers 32 ounces and larger from the Pine Tree State's deposit program starting Dec. 1, 2016. But the bill has lost traction.

A legislative committee voted unanimously on May 11 to reject the bill. Under the legislature's rules, that means the bill can only be revived with a two-thirds vote of both chambers.

Under Maine's program, consumer pay a 15-cent deposit for wine and liquor containers and a 5-cent deposit for all others.

The bill would have also created a Maine Recycling Fund, which would have been supported by a new half-cent-per-container fee manufacturers and distributors would pay. The fee, collected for six years, would generate about $300,000 to $400,000 per year. The fund would distribute grants and low-interest loans to support recycling efforts.

Senate Bill 199 would expand the state's 36-year-old bottle bill to include bottled water and other beverages.

Michigan's law places a 10-cent deposit on soda, carbonated waters, beer, ale, malts, mixed-wine drinks and mixed-spirit drinks.

The bill would expand the covered containers to include non-carbonated water and any other beverage meant for human consumption in containers of one gallon or less (excluded are unflavored rice and soy milks, milk or other dairy-derived products). The bill is also written to exclude cartons.

The bill, from Democratic state Sen. Rebekah Warren, is currently in the Senate's Natural Resources Committee.

The Aloha State's HB 167 would have completely eliminated the "HI-5" Deposit Beverage Container Program, a 10-year-old program that adds a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers up to 68 ounces in size. Sponsored by two Democratic representatives, the repealing bill died in committee.

Another bill, Senate Bill 1260, would implement changes to the glass container program recommended by the state auditor. Hawaii law requires consumers pay an advance disposal fee on each glass container not covered by the state's bottle bill. That bill also did not pass.

The glass bill, among other things, would require the state to expand the allowed uses for recycled glass, including using it as alternative daily cover in landfills. As passed by the House of Representatives, the law would go into effect on July 1, 2030. The Senate failed to approve it before the legislature adjourned May 7.

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