Bottle Bill Resource Guide

California Bottle Bill History

 Original Law1990 Amendment2000 ExpansionAB 28, 2004AB 3056, 2006Current Law
NameCalifornia Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (AB 2020)
PurposeTo encourage recycling and reduce litter
Implemented9/1/1987 1/1/20001/1/20041/1/2007 
Beverages CoveredBeer, malt, all soft drinks, fruit drinks, sport drinks, water, coffee & teas, wine & distilled spirits coolers Expanded to include all non-alcoholic beverages, except milk  beer, malt, wine & distilled spirits coolers, all non-alcoholic beverages, except milk. Excludes vegetable juices over 16oz.
Containers CoveredAluminum. glass, plastic and bi-metal. Exempts refillables    Aluminum. glass, plastic and bi-metal. Exempts refillables
Amount of DepositAmended to 2.5¢ <24 oz and 5¢ >24 oz increased to (4¢: >24oz.) and (8¢: <24oz.)increased to (10¢: >24oz.) and (5¢: <24oz.)(5¢: under 24oz.) and (10¢: 24oz. and greater)
Redemption Rate     Please refer back to main CA page for most recent redemption rates. 
SystemState certified redemption centers, registered curbside operations, dropoffs    State certified recyclers include redemption centers, registered curbside operations, dropoffs
Unredeemed DepositsProperty of state: used for program administration and grants to non-profits    Property of program: used for program administration program payments and grants.
Handling Fee    Changed processing payment to 1.8¢ and schedules regular re-evaluations (b)Handling Fees paid by state to specific handling fee sites. Department will calculate the monthly handling fee at the rate of $0.01046 per beverage container redeemed.(a)
Other FeesBeverage manufacturers pay Processing Fees to the State to offset recyclers' costs when the cost of recycling exceeds the value of scrap material. CalRecycle then makes Processing Payments directly to redemption centers.    Please refer back to main CA page for most recent processing fees and payments. 
NotesContainers are returned to licensed redemption centers, not to retailers; Refund value determined by weight for more than 50 containers     


[a]Source: CalRecycle. "Handling Fee Changes, Effective July 1, 2015” (Updated) June 11, 2015

[b]Source: CalRecycle. "Biannual Report of Beverage Container Sales, Returns, Redemption, and Recycling Rates" May 8, 2015.