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

These beverages, in sizes up to and including three liters: water, flavored water, beer and other malt beverages, Mineral water, soda water and carbonated soft drinks.

Also these beverages, in sizes of at least four ounces and up to an including 1.5 liters: any beverage other than those specified above, except distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milks, infant formula or any other beverage excluded by OLCC.

Container types include glass, metal and plastic, excluding cartons, foil pouches and drink boxes and metal containers that require a tool to be opened. [a]

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
Amount of Deposit 10¢ (Increased from 5¢ as of April 1, 2017)
Reclamation System Retail stores or approved redemption centers
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by distributor/ bottlers / Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative
Handling Fee none
Redemption Rate[b]

2017 Redemption rate:

78.2% Metal
67.2% Glass
68.5% Plastic
73.3% Overall

2016 Redemption rates:

69.9% Metal
65.2% Glass
54.6% Plastic
64.3% Overall


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 until [a] bottled water was added to the system (effective in 2009). The law was expanded again to allow for an increase of the deposit/refund value to 10¢ beginning April 1, 2017 as a result of the redemption rate staying below 80% for two consecutive years. Because the redemption rate was 68.26% in 2014 and 64.45% in 2015, the refund value increased to 10¢ effective on April 1, 2017.

The same bill further expanded the law effective January 1, 2018, that all beverage containers except distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milk, and infant formula will include a deposit.   Water, beer, and carbonated soft drinks will continue to require a deposit and most other beverages, including but not limited to tea, coffee, hard cider, fruit juice, kombucha, and coconut water will be 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 21 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.

[b] Source: Beverage Container Return Data, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC)

[c] "2017 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

Updated August 23, 2018

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