Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Beverage Container Deposit Law
Purpose Litter Control
Enacted 4/1/1978
Date Implemented Beer, soft drinks - May 1, 1979; wine/liquor - July 1, 1979
Beverages Covered Beer, carbonated soft drinks & mineral water, wine coolers, wine & liquor
Containers Covered Any sealed glass, plastic, or metal bottle, can, jar or carton containing a beverage
Amount of Deposit
Reclamation System Retail stores and redemption centers
Handling Fee 1¢, paid by distributor to retailer or redemption center
Deposit Beverage Container Redemption Rate
Material 2012 [a]     2016 [b]
Glass 63%     76%
Plastic 64%     53%
Aluminum 84%     62%
Total 78%     64%



Deposit containers banned from landfills in 1990; retailer can refuse containers if agreement exists with an approved redemption center.

The redemption rate was estimated at 93% in the year 2000 [c]. 

Updating the estimated redemption rate is not done every year due to a lack of resources [d].


[a] An 86% recycling rate was estimated in 2012 (Dermot Hayes, "Economics of the Iowa Bottle Bill," Iowa State University, Jan. 2012. Table 1), based on waste composition data collected in 2005 by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources: personal communication from Bill Blum, Financial & Business Assistance program planner, Iowa DNR, Land Quality Bureau, 2/27/2015. Deductions made for recycling through curbside and dropoff programs (see below note).

[b] The State of Iowa does not collect data on deposit containers sold or redeemed. Sales estimates were derived from CRI's 2017 Beverage Market Data Analysis (using 2015 sales data). Material-specific redemption rates were derived by CRI and the DNR while analyzing "Final 2017 Iowa Statewide Waste Characterization Study," SCS Engineers for Iowa DNR, 12/28/17. Rates shown reflect deductions made for deposit containers recycled through curbside & dropoff programs, using curbside & dropoff percentages from California (2012 and 2016) as proxies.

[c] Source: Iowa DNR, Waste Management Division, as per phone conversation with Jeff Geerts on 8/29/01 (year 2000 estimate).

[d] Source: The redemption rate was recalculated by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources using data from its 2017 statewide Waste Characterization Study and with analytic help from CRI. See: "Study shows new recovery rate of containers in Iowa." Press released issued by Iowa Department of Natural Resources, January 18, 2018. 

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Contact - Iowa

For information on labeling requirements, please contact your government agency.


Bill Blum
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Land Quality Bureau
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319


Iowa Recycling Association
PO Box 10954
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410