Mandatory deposit bill introduced

The National Beverage Container Reuse and Recycling Act of 2001 was introduced in Congress by Rep. Lynn N. Rivers (D-MI). The bill amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to require a 10¢ deposit and refund on every beverage container sold in the United States.

Beverage is defined as beer or other malt beverages, water, juice, juice drinks, tea, coffee, sports drinks, soda water, wine coolers, or carbonated soft drinks of any variety. Beverage container is defined as metal, glass, or plastic containers with a capacity of up to 1 gal. Distributors must pay unclaimed funds to each state, the amount representing the difference between the refund value and what is actually refunded. States with “substantially similar” deposit laws are exempt from the bill, as are states that demonstrate an 80% recycling or reuse rate. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Prospects for passage are considered dim, considering the history of past deposit bills in Congress.

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