Name Michigan Beverage Container Act
Purpose To reduce roadside litter, clean up the environment, and conserve energy and natural resources
Enacted 11/2/1976
Implemented 12/3/1978
Beverages Covered Beer, soft drinks, carbonated & mineral water, wine coolers, canned cocktails
Containers Covered Any airtight metal, glass, paper, or plastic container, or a combination, under 1 gallon
Amount of Deposit 10¢
Reclamation System Retail stores
Unredeemed Deposits 75% to state for envt'l programs, 25% to retailers (more information)
Handling Fee None
Redemption Rate CY '14 94.2% [a]


The Michigan law requires reporting of containers sold and redeemed by bottlers and distributors. At 10¢, Michigan's deposit is the highest in the country—and so is its recycling rate.

A series of amending acts (#384–#389) were passed in 2008 to prevent fraudulent redemption, especially at reverse vending machines. Most significant among these acts is the one that requires a machine-readable, state-specific mark to be placed on all 12-oz. metal or glass and 20-oz. plastic containers if they are sold in a volume over 500,000 cases a year, or are subject to significant overredemption. The mark should indicate whether the container is redeemable or not. To assist RVM manufacturers and redemption centers in building and installing machines with the capability to read these marks, a Beverage container redemption antifraud fund is created. The new acts also add additional penalties for willfully participating in fraudulent redemption.

While 25% of unredeemed deposits in Michigan go to retailers, the other 75% is retained by the state in a Cleanup and Redevelopment Trust Fund (Trust Fund), and distributed as follows:[b]

  • 80% to the Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund, used to clean up specific sites of contamination in Michigan.
  • 10% to the Community Pollution Prevention Fund, for educational programs on pollution prevention methods, technologies, and processes, with an emphasis on the direct reduction of toxic material releases or disposal, at the source.
  • 10% remains in the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund continues to collect the 10% per year until a maximum of $200 million is met.


[a] Source: Michigan Department of Treasury, Bottle Deposit Information Chart, 1990-2014. [pdf]

[b] Source: Michigan Recycling Coalition. "Used Beverage Container Deposits," 2011 State of Recycling in Michigan: A Way Forward. p.10. http://www.michiganrecycles.org/images/pdf/stateofrecycling2011mrc.pdf

Updated January 13, 2016

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