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)
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 Returned to the State.
Handling Fees

Prior to 1 October 2021:

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

Starting 1 October 2021: [4]

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

Redemption rates: [5]

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 initially passed its container deposit legislation in 1978, and implemented it on 1 January 1980.

Initially, Connecticut's bottle bill only included beer, malt beverages, and carbonated beverages, as they took the predominant share of the beverage container industry. However, 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. [6] The expansion bill passed in 2009 resulted in 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 included non-carbonated beverages, wine, and liquor. More container types became eligible for redemption, specifically HDPE containers as well as miniature "nips" bottles (≤50mL), the latter having a 5¢ deposit. 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. [7] 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] Prohibits metal containers with removable tabs and containers with non-biodegradable holders (i.e. plastic 6-pack rings) from being sold in the state.

[4] See Footnote 2.

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

[6] See Footnote 5.

[7] See Footnote 2.

 

Last Updated 6 August 2021.

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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]