Bottle Bill Resource Guide

In response to the growing litter problem of the 1960s and 1970s, activists and policymakers in Oregon and Vermont fought successfully to secure mandatory refundable deposits on throwaway beverage containers. Encouraged by their success, advocates in dozens of other states campaigned for deposit laws, and by 1986, bottle bills were in place in 10 states.

Today, litter prevention is still a potent motivation for activists, although many bottle bill efforts are also being driven by the desire to increase recycling and promote producer responsibility. Government-funded studies conducted in seven states in the 1970s and 1980s -- pre and post-bottle bills --  showed reductions in beverage container litter ranging from 69% to 84% and reductions in total litter ranging from 30% to 64%. More studies, described below, affirm 4 basic conclusions about bottle bills.

Beverage containers make up a large proportion of litter

States with bottle bills have less litter.

Expanding existing bottle bills would reduce litter further.

Other methods of litter prevention are less effective


Search Our Site

No time to read this whole website?

View the PowerPoint presentation instead. Container Deposit Legislation: Past, Present, Future provides a quick look at the most important facts about bottle bills. This presentation is also a great tool for activists needing to present information in support of a bottle bill.