Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Beverage Container Deposit and Redemption Law
Purpose Litter reduction and recycling
Enacted 12 April 1978
Implemented 1 January 1980 (last updated in 2021)
Regulations Beverage Container Deposit and Redemption, R.C.S.A. §22a-243 - §22a-246
Beverages Covered

Before January 2023: [1]

  • Beer and malt beverages
  • Carbonated beverages (including mineral water and soda water)
  • Non-carbonated water

After January 2023: [2]

  • Beer and malt beverages
  • Hard seltzer
  • Hard cider
  • Carbonated beverages (including mineral water and soda water)
  • Non-carbonated water (including flavored water and plant-infused water)
  • Juice
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Kombucha
  • Plant-infused drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Energy drinks
Containers Covered Any individual, separate, sealed glass, metal or plastic bottle, can, jar or carton containing a beverage. [3]
Containers Not Covered
  • Containers >3L
  • Any containers for non-carbonated beverages that are not water (prior to 2023)
  • Containers made of HDPE
Amount of Deposit
  • 5¢ USD (before 1 January 2024)
  • 10¢ USD (after 1 January 2024)
Reclamation System Retail stores and redemption centers
Unredeemed Deposits

Prior to 2022: 100% returned to the State.

2022 onwards: Revenue sharing between distributors and the State, to be implemented on this schedule:

  • FY 22/23: 5% of unclaimed deposits to be kept by distributors
  • FY 23/24: 35% of unclaimed deposits to be kept by distributors
  • FY 24/25: 45% of unclaimed deposits to be kept by distributors
  • FY 25/26 and onward: 55% of unclaimed deposits to be kept by distributors [4]
Handling Fees

Before 1 October 2021:

  • Beer: 1.5¢
  • All other beverages: 2¢

Starting 1 October 2021: [5]

  • Beer: 2.5¢
  • All other beverages: 3.5¢
Redemption Rate

Overall Rate (Calendar Year): [6] [7]

2021: 46.2%
2020: 43.6%
2019: 50.3%
2018: 50.0%
2017: 51.7%
2016: 48.5%
2015: 51.1%
2014: 53.0%
2013: 57.4%
2012: 58.1%
2011: 50.8%
2010: 59.4%
2009: 63.8%

 

Details

Connecticut first passed its container deposit legislation in 1978, and implemented it on 1 January 1980. It was the sixth US state to implement a bottle container deposit program.

Connecticut's bottle bill initially only included beer, malt beverages, and carbonated beverages, as they took the predominant share of the beverage container industry in the 20th century. However, with the rising popularity of bottled water, the Connecticut General Assembly passed three separate laws in 2009 that further expanded the program by allowing non-carbonated water to be redeemed, and "escheating" unredeemed deposits back to the State. [8] The 2009 expansion bill created a system for distributors to report income from deposits and return unclaimed deposits to the state; this data allowed the state to calculate quarterly and annual statewide redemption rates. This bill also created a "dislocation fund" for workers who lost their jobs due to the bottle bill.

In 2021, Connecticut passed SB1037 to further expand the program, by raising the deposit values from 5¢ to 10¢ and the handling fee from 2.5¢ to 3.5¢, in order to modernize the bill to current levels of inflation and other trends. Eligible beverages now include non-carbonated beverages, wine, and liquor. More container types became eligible for redemption, specifically HDPE containers. Miniature "nips" bottles (≤50mL) had a 5¢ fee placed upon them which is not subject to redemption. These nips fees are instead collected by distributors and given back out to communities according to nips sales in those areas.

Certain retailers must now also have at least 2 reverse vending machines (RVMs) on site for consumer use. More redemption centers are planned to be built to help serve underserviced areas. All parts of the bill are expected to be implemented by 1 January 2024. [9] A timeline of the bill's implementation may be found here.

Consumers may redeem their deposits at either a retailer or a certified redemption center. Retailers must accept containers of brands that they carry. As of January 2021, there are 18 redemption centers that Connecticut consumers may visit to return their bottles. The list of redemption centers may be found here.

 

Footnotes

[1] "Bottle Bill FAQ." Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Last updated April 2020.

[2] Connecticut P.A. 21-58. No. 1037. 2021.

[3] Ibid.

[4] S.B. No. 1037. Session Year 2021. See our Fact Sheet here.    

[5] Ibid.

[6] "CT Bottle Redemption Data." Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). 2021.

[7] Private correspondence with Chris Nelson, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). May 2022.

[8] See Footnote 6.

[9] See Footnote 2.

 

Last Updated on May 19 2022.

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Contact - Connecticut

For information on labeling requirements, please contact your government agency.

Government

Edith Pestana
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127
(860) 424-3044 [email protected]

Chris Nelson, Supervising Environmental Analyst
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP)
79 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06106
phone: 860-424-3454 [email protected]
www.ct.gov/deep/recycle

Organizations

Connecticut PIRG
2074 Park St #210
Hartford CT 06106
Phone: 860 233-7554
[email protected]