Massachusetts Bottle Bill History

  Original Law 1989 Amendment 2003 2010 Current Law
Name Beverage Container Recovery Law
Purpose To provide an economic incentive for consumers to return used beverage containers and encourage conservation of materials and energy through recycling and reuse
Enacted Legislative override of governor's veto, 6/4/81 1989      
Implemented 1/1/1983 1990      
Beverages Covered Beer, malt, carbonated soft drinks, & mineral water     Beer, malt, carbonated soft drinks, & mineral water  
Containers Covered       any sealable bottle, can, jar, or carton of glass, metal, plastic, or combo. Excludes biodegradables.  
Amount of Deposit      
Redemption Rate overall 68.6% (h) 72.3% as of May 2010 (i) 
Reclamation System Retail stores and redemption centers     Retail stores and redemption centers  
Unredeemed Deposits All unredeemed deposits become property of state (since '95) Property of the state, for MSW education Sent to state general fund Property of state general fund  
Handling Fee     2.25¢ 3.25¢ (j)
View Legislation          
Notes Wholesalers must file monthly reports w/Dept. of Revenue regarding deposit & refund.     Survived repeal by referendum effort in 1982 by a 60% to 40% vote.  


[h]Source: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, MA Bottle Bill Return Rates Chart (Jan.-Sept., 2004).

[i] Source: Source: Sean Sylver, of MA DEP

[j] Regulatory Change Advisory:301 CMR 4.00 Provisions for Recycling Beverage Containers, July 2013