Name Solid Waste Management; Deposit Beverage Container Law (Act 176)
Enacted 6/25/2002
Implemented 1/1/2005
Beverages Covered all nonalcoholic drinks, except for milk or dairy products, and limited alcoholic drinks (beer, malt beverages, mixed spirits, mixed wine).
Containers Covered Aluminum, bi-metal, glass, plastic (PET and HDPE only) up to 68 oz.
Amount of Deposit
Reclamation System Certified Redemption Centers (CRCs) operated by privately-owned, State-permitted solid waste facilities (a)
Handling Fee Variable fee of 2–4¢ paid to redemption centers from the Deposit Beverage Container Fund. [b]
Other Fees 1¢ non-refundable "container fee" (added to price of beverage) paid to Deposit Beverage Container fund to help pay redemption centers handling fees. [c]
Unredeemed Deposits Property of state: used for program administration

Program Success
(Redemption Rate)

FY 2015 - 68%
FY 2014 - 72.6%
FY 2013 - 75.0%
FY 2012 - 76.6%
FY 2011 - 75.7%
FY 2010 - 76.1%
FY 2009 - 78.7%
FY 2008 - 72.0%
FY 2007 - 67.6%
FY 2006 - 67.6%

FY 2006-2015 - 73% 
Redemption rate by container type

FY 2015 -
Aluminum - 76%
Glass - 65.4%
Plastic - 60.8%


Some notes about the Hawaii deposit law: Redemption centers must submit reports regularly, Refund may be calculated by weight.

Hawaii charges a nonrefundable "deposit beverage container fee" in addition to the 5¢ refundable deposit. This fee is used to pay the redemption centers' handling fees. The container fee is set at 1¢, but the law allows it to be changed to 1.5¢ should the redemption rate any given year exceed 70%. However, 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. This occurred in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the fee stayed at 1¢. In September 2012, the fee was increased to 1.5¢. In September 2015, the fee was decreased to 1¢.[e]

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.

In September 2008, the Department of Health changed the handling fee that is paid out to redemption centers for glass containers. After the change, glass containers that were destined for remanufacturing applications receive a 4¢ fee, and glass containers destined for industrial or agricultural applications receive a 2¢ fee.


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

[b] 4¢ for glass to be used in remanufacturing applications, 2¢ for glass to be used in construction & agriculture applications. Source: Hawaii Department of Health. "Handling Fee Adjustment For Glass Deposit Containers." September 9, 2008
Handling fees for aluminum, bi-metal, and plastic are 2¢ for Oahu and 3¢ for neighbor islands. Source: email communication with Jennifer Tosaki. July 6, 2010

[c] BEVERAGE CONTAINER FEE TO DECREASE BY HALF CENT - Lower annual redemption rate triggers a decrease of container fee. July 27th 2015.

[d] Source: 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

Updated January 28, 2016

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