- After two consecutive years of low bottle-return rates—68% in 2014 and 64% in 2015—the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will move forward with increasing the state's bottle bill redemption value from 5 cents per bottle to 10 cents.
- The increase, which will go into effect on April 1, 2017, is directed through House Bill 3145. The bill stated the beverage container return rate needed to stay above 80% for two consecutive years, or the redemption value were to be increased.
- Under the state's bottle bill, beverage containers including water, soda water, carbonated soft drinks, beer, and malt beverages are accepted. The bottles must be three liters or smaller.
This increase in the state's bottle bill redemption value has been anticipated since last August, however it was never clear how soon the increase would be applied. Now that OLCC has reviewed data and decided to move forward with the value increase, it will need to work with manufacturers, distributors, and other stakeholders to discuss label changes, awareness, and other factors.
"We have many partners in the beverage, retail, and recycling industries," said Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, to KTVZ. "We will be working with our partners over the next eight months to make this transition as smooth as possible for consumers and industry employees."
Oregon is not the only state struggling to keep bottle deposit rates high. In California, 363 bottle redemption centers have shut down this year alone, which has inspired a bill to increase subsidies to redemption centers until April 1. New Jersey legislators have also discussed a "Smart Container Act" to impose a 10-cent deposit value on containers smaller than 24 oz. and a 20-cent value on larger containers throughout the state.