|Name||The Beverage Container Act|
|Purpose||To reduce litter and increase recycling|
Beverages ≤ 3L:
Beverages between 4 oz and 1.5L:
|Containers Covered||Any individual, separate, sealed glass, metal or plastic bottle, can, jar containing a covered beverage in a quantity less than 3 fluid liters|
|Containers Not Covered||Beverages in cartons, foil pouches, drink boxes, and metal containers that require a tool to be opened are not included even if the beverage and container size would otherwise have a refund value.|
|Amount of Deposit||10¢ (Increased from 5¢ as of April 1, 2017)|
|Reclamation System||Retail stores or approved redemption centers. As of early 2020, there were 25 redemption centers operating.|
|Handling Fee||none; co-op funds redemption centers in partnership with retailers
|Unredeemed Deposits||Retained by distributor/ bottlers / Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative|
|Redemption Rate [b]||
2019 Redemption rate:
90.8% Overall (Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative rate; does not cover all of Oregon. Updated data expected in August 2020).
2018 Redemption rate:
2017 Redemption rate:
2016 Redemption rates:
Oregon’s Bottle Bill was introduced in 1971 as the very first bottle bill in the U.S. The bill was created to address a growing litter problem along Oregon beaches, highways and other public areas. Over the years, the Bottle Bill has prompted several other green initiatives.
The law remained relatively unchanged [a] until bottled water was added to the system in 2009. The law was expanded again to allow for an increase of the deposit/refund value to 10¢ beginning in April 1, 2017 as a result of the redemption rate staying below 80% for two consecutive years (68.26% in 2014 and 64.45% in 2015).
The same bill further expanded the law. Effective January 1, 2018, all beverage containers except distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milk, and infant formula now included a deposit. Water, beer, and carbonated soft drinks continues to require a deposit and most other beverages, including but not limited to tea, coffee, hard cider, fruit juice, kombucha, and coconut water were added.
For nearly 40 years, redemption centers did not exist in Oregon, but early in 2010, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved the first experimental distributor-run redemption center in Wood Village, and later, Oregon City. Operating under the name BottleDrop and run by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, there are currently 25 redemption centers operating around Oregon.
There can be up to two “convenience zones” surrounding a redemption center. Large retailers (5,000 square feet or more) within a convenience zone may choose to participate in a redemption center or to provide equivalent services. Participating large retailers located in the first convenience zone may refuse to redeem any containers and participating large retailers located in the second convenience zone may refuse to redeem more than 24 containers. Small convenience type retailers (under 5,000 square feet) within either redemption center convenience zone may refuse to redeem more than 24 containers.
[a] Small amendments were made in 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1993 to ban nondegradable can ring holders and change the number of containers that stores are required to redeem per person per day.
Kombucha and hard seltzer were added through SB 247, signed by the Governor on 6/13/19: https://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2019/SB247/
Kefir, drinkable yogurt, and other milk-based and plant-based smoothies and beverages were added administratively by a seven-member panel of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, effective 1/1/2020: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/docs/news/news_releases/2019/nr_122019_BottleBill_Updates_2019_alc.pdf
[b] Source: Beverage Container Return Data, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), personal communication with Joel Schoening, OBRC, Jan. 2, 2020.
[c] "2017 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report
[d] "2018 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report
[e] "2019 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report