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Oregon bottle deposit to rise to 10 cents starting Spring 2017

FILE PHOTO - The deposit Oregonians will receive from returning used bottles and cans is going up to 10 cents per container starting in April, 2017 the OLCC announced this week.The refund Oregonians will get from returning used soda cans and water bottles is about to go up.

This week the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced that it was doubling the redemption value of the Oregon Bottle Bill.

Starting in April, 2017, the redemption rate for bottles and cans will increase to 10 cents per container.

According to the OLCC, which enforces the state’s Bottle Bill, only about 64.5 percent of consumers returned their empty bottles and cans to the state in 2015, lower than the 68.26 percent rate documented in 2014.

Under state law, if the return rate for beverage containers falls below 80 percent for two years in a row, then the redemption value of those containers must increase to 10 cents per container.

Oregon was the first state in the country to pass a bottle bill in 1971. The bill requires customers to pay for 5 cent deposits on soda cans and bottles, which they can reclaim when they recycle the cans with the state, instead of throwing them away.

Only 10 states and Guam have bottle bills. Oregon will become the second state with a 10 cent deposit for all bottles and cans, joining Michigan. Most other states have a 5 cent deposit, through Maine and Vermont have 15 cent deposits for liquor bottles.

According to the OLCC, the agency has already begun reaching out to bottle manufacturers, beverage distributors and retail outlets about changes to bottles and in-store signs.

“We have many partners in the beverage, retail and recycling industries,” Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, said in a statement. “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.”

The new bottle deposit doesn’t come as a surprise. The state has seen fewer and fewer people returning the bottles and cans over the last several years, though it still doubles the national average.