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July 7, 2023
Michigan lawmakers reintroduced legislation earlier this week that would update the state’s recycling system by expanding the Michigan Bottle Bill law.
As it stands now, in Michigan, residents can only use the bottle returns for certain carbonated drinks, such as soft drinks, and beer. Although, the new legislation looks to expand the law to include all non-carbonated drinks except milk containers.
Lawmakers mentioned the move is to help keep those extra containers off the streets and out of the landfills.
“It is popular, I would say across the state people are typically very excited about the expansion,” said Rep. Christine Morse. “A lot of people think we should be recycling water bottles.”
However, the president of the Michigan Soft Drink Association has said that expanding the deposit bill does more harm than good.
“I think we’re not giving those people that water for free anymore. They’re buying it on their own, so to ask them now to pay 10 cents on each of those bottles,” said Derek Bajema, with the Michigan Soft Drink Association. “You can get a 40-pack of water for four dollars. They’re gonna have a four-dollar deposit on top of it.”
Others in the area have proposed it would be better to invest in more recycling centers instead. But the expansion of the bill will allow for plastic and other non-carbonated drinks to be returned to any location.
“It’s breaking down barriers, so if it’s easier for people to just go to one spot and return everything they have, versus have to worry about hauling it back out when that business doesn’t take theirs,” Morse said.
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