Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Solid Waste Management; Deposit Beverage Container Law (Act 176)
Enacted 6/25/2002
Date Implemented 1/1/2005
Beverages Covered All nonalcoholic drinks, except for milk or dairy products, and limited alcoholic drinks (beer, malt beverages, mixed spirits and mixed wine).
Containers Covered

Container ≤ 2 liters of the following materials:

  • Plastic (PET, HDPE)
  • Metal (aluminum)
  • Bi-metal
  • Glass 
Amount of Deposit
Reclamation System Certified Redemption Centers (CRCs) operated by privately-owned, State-permitted solid waste facilities [a]
Handling Fee

Handling fees effective 7/1/19 [b]:

Aluminum and bi-metal cans: 3¢

Plastic bottles: 3.5¢

Glass bottles: 7¢

Other Fees A non-refundable "container fee" (added to price of beverage) of 1¢ - 1.5¢ per container is paid by beverage manufacturers into the Deposit Beverage Container fund to help pay redemption centers handling fees. The container fee fluctuates based on the redemption rate of the prior fiscal year; if the redemption rate is under 70%, it is set to 1¢; if it is 70% or more, it is set to 1.5¢. [c]
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by Department of Health
Fees and Taxes Property of state: used for program administration
Program Success
The rates for 2013 through 2019 are "redemption rates," with curbside volumes having been deducted from the state-reported, overall redemption rate. {d}
Hawaii redemption rates FY FY FY CY FY FY FY
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Aluminum 79% 77% 75% 71% 79% 70% 71%
BiMetal 101% 122% 103% 72% 64% 64% 68%
Glass 72% 70% 65% 61% 59% 59% 62%
Plastic 69% 65% 59% 60% 57% 57% 52%
Total 74% 71% 60% 65% 63% 63% 62%
The rates prior to 2013 are the state-reported, overall redemption rate, and contain an unknown amount of curbside-recycled beverage containers.
FY 2012 - 77%
FY 2011 - 76%
FY 2010 - 76%
FY 2009 - 79%
FY 2008 - 72%
FY 2007 - 68%
FY 2006 - 68%
FY 2006-2015 - 73% [d]



In addition to the 5¢ deposit fee that is refunded to consumers, Hawaii charges a nonrefundable "container fee" which helps to cover the operational costs of the program. The law specifies that the container fee be reviewed annually, and is set at 1¢ per container when the annual redemption rate is below 70%, and 1.5¢ per container when the redemption rate exceeds 70%. The Director of the program is authorized to suspend any increase in this fee if the size of the deposit beverage container fund is sufficient to maintain operations.

Container Fee Year(s)
2008-2011, 2015[e]
1.5¢ 2012-2014

Because the law only requires beverage distributors pay the container fee to DOH, there is no specific guidance on how retailers decide to pass on the fee to their customers.

The program pays certified redemption centers a “handling fee” for each container that is verified as being recycled - this includes deposit beverage containers that are either:

1.    Transported out-of-state,
2.    Transported to a department permitted recycling facility.
The program requires redemption centers to submit regular reports (minimally, requests for payment must be received twice per month) and consumer refunds may be calculated by weight according to the segregated rates determined by the department for each material type (aluminum, plastic, glass and bi-metal).



[a] Retailer exemptions vary depending on local population density, proximity to a redemption center, and store size.

[b] New handling fees went into effect on 7/1/19, per recommendations in handling fee study: "Study of Deposit Beverage Container Handling Fees – Final Report." Prepared by Crowe LLP for the Hawaii Department of Health, May 13, 2019; personal communication from Wendy Okazaki, Hawaii Department of Health, July 19, 2019. 

[c] BEVERAGE CONTAINER FEE TO DECREASE BY HALF CENT - Lower annual redemption rate triggers a decrease of container fee. July 27th 2015. Personal communication from Michael Casey, Hawaii Office of Solid Waste Management, 8/16/18.

[d] Sources: 2013-2019: personal communication with Hawaii State Department of Health, Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch, Office of Solid Waste Management: 6/22/17, 8/8/18, 7/2/20. In order to show true refund redemption rates here, small percentages have been deducted from reported redemption rates [=recycling rates] to account for deposit containers recycled through the Honolulu curbside program (2014 is the most recent data available) as follows: aluminum (0.9%), bimetal (2.9%), glass (1.3%), plastic (2.7%), and total (1.6%). 2012 and prior years: Hawaii Department of Health - Hawaii Deposit Beverage Container Statistics.

[e] Source: Hawaii Department of Health. "Beverage container fee increases by half cent to continue successful recycling program." July 18, 2012.