Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  The Beverage Container Act
Purpose To reduce litter and increase recycling
Enacted 7/2/1971
Date Implemented 10/1/1972
Beverages Covered

Beverages ≤ 3L:

  • Water, flavored water, soda water, and mineral water
  • Beer/malt beverages
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Kombucha
  • Hard seltzers

Beverages between 4 oz and 1.5L:

  • Tea 
  • Coffee 
  • Hard cider (if 8.5% ABV or less)
  • Fruit, vegetable, and aloe vera juice
  • Non-alcoholic wine 
  • Beverages containing marijuana or hemp
  • Energy and sports drinks 
  • Coconut water
  • Oral electrolyte replacements
  • Ready to drink cocktail mixers
  • Muscle Milk
  • Beverages containing dairy or plant-based milk where milk is not the first ingredient
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]
  Metal Glass Plastic Overall
2019 89.6% 76.8% 83.5% 85.8%
2018 86.9% 75.6% 74.9% 81.0%
2017 78.2% 67.2% 68.5% 73.3%
2016 69.9% 65.2% 54.6% 64.3%
2015 70.9% 67.6% 51.9% 64.5%
2014 74.3% 71.9% 55.4% 68.3%
2013 76.3% 74.8% 57.9% 71.0%
2012 77.1% 78.5% 54.4% 71.0%


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 continue 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:

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:

[b] Source: Oregon Liquor Control Commission website,  Beverage Container Return Rates, 2012-2019

Additional Reports:

"2017 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

"2018 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

"2019 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

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Contact - Oregon

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


Information for distributors and manufacturers:
Becky Voelkel
Oregon Liquor Control Commission
9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd
Portland, OR 97222
Office:  503-872-5132 | Fax:  503-872-5110

Information on environment and recycling:
Peter Spendelow
Department of Environmental Quality
811 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503/229-5253


Association of Oregon Recyclers
PO Box 1264
Tualatin, OR 97062
TEL: 503-233-3056
Fax: N/A

Recycling Advocates
P.O. Box 6736
Portland, OR 97228-6736

Stewardship Organization

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative
3900 NW Yeon Ave.
Portland, OR 97210
Telephone: 503-222-2266
FAX: 503-222-2291