Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  Beverage Container Control Law
Purpose Litter Control and Promoting Recycling
Enacted 4/1/1978
Date Implemented
  • Beer, soft drinks - 5/1/1979
  • Wine/liquor - 7/1/1979
Regulations Iowa Code, Chapter 455C and Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 567-107
Beverages Covered
  • Beer
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Mineral water (carbonated and noncarbonated)
  • Wine coolers
  • Wine & liquor
Containers Covered

"Any sealed glass, plastic, or metal bottle, can, jar or carton containing a beverage."

Note 1: "Nips" (wine & liquor bottles ≤50 mL) are effectively included in the deposit law because they are not explicitly excluded.  However, Administrative Rule exempts them from needing deposit information labels. 

Note 2: Paper cartons (boxed wine, Petra paks) are effectively excluded from the deposit law because they are not glass, plastic, or metal.

Amount of Deposit
Unclaimed Deposits Unclaimed deposits are retained by beverage bottlers and distributors.
Reclamation System Retail stores and redemption centers
Handling Fee

Paid by distributor to retailer or redemption center:

Redemption centers and participating retailers: 3¢

Dealer Agents: 1¢

Deposit Beverage Container Redemption Rate
Material 2013 [1] 2016 [2]
Glass 63% 80%
Plastic 64% 51%
Aluminum 84% 62%
Total 78% 65%
% of All Beverages Sold That Are Covered By Deposit 63% [3]



Iowa has a bottle deposit system with a deposit of 5¢. In 1990, deposit containers were banned from landfills.

On June 17, 2022, SF2378 was signed into law. This bottle bill raised the handling fee to 3¢ per container for redemption centers and participating retailers, requires beverage manufacturers to register the deposit products they sell in Iowa, established enforcement for program violators, and allows retailers to opt out of redeeming containers if they meet specific criteria [4]. To opt out of the bottle deposit system, retailers must have an agreement for a mobile redemption system, or must be in a county with more than 30,000 people and within 10 miles of a redemption center, or in a county with fewer than 30,000 people and within 15 miles of a redemption center, or have an on-site government regulated controlled food preparation (regardless of how far the closest approved redemption center is). Non-partcipating retailers must post a notice identifying the nearest redemption center. The bill went into effect on January 1, 2023 and is administered and enforced by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Iowa does not collect sales or return data on beverage containers. Consequently, updating the estimated redemption rate is not done every year due to a lack of resources [5]. The redemption rate was estimated at 93% in the year 2000 [6]. 


[1] "Dermot Hayes, "Economics of the Iowa Bottle Bill," Iowa State University, January 2012. Table 1." An 86% recycling rate was estimated in 2007, based on waste composition data collected in 2005 by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Deductions made for recycling through curbside and dropoff programs (see below note). Personal communication from Bill Blum, Financial & Business Assistance program planner, Iowa DNR, Land Quality Bureau. February 27, 2015. 

[2] "Study shows new recovery rate of containers in Iowa." The State of Iowa does not collect data on deposit containers sold or redeemed. Sales estimates were derived from CRI's 2017 Beverage Market Data Analysis (using 2015 sales data). Material-specific recycling rates were derived by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources using data from its 2017 statewide Waste Characterization Study ("Final 2017 Iowa Statewide Waste Characterization Study," SCS Engineers for Iowa DNR, December 28, 2017) with analytical assistance from CRI. This study reported a 71% overall deposit container recycling rate. Press release issued by Iowa Department of Natural Resources. January 18, 2018. 

Note: the reported overall recycling rate included deposit containers redeemed for the 5-cent refund, and deposit containers recycled through other channels where consumers voluntarily forgo the 5-cent refund. CRI then used curbside & dropoff percentages from California (2012 and 2016) as proxies to estimate deductions for deposit containers recycled through Iowa's curbside and dropoff programs, and derived a 64% overall redemption rate in Iowa. We did this to be consistent in reporting redemption rates across all 10 deposit states.

[3] "2019 Beverage Market Data Analysis." Container Recycling Institute. 2022.

[4] "Changes to the Bottle Bill Frequently Asked Questions." Iowa DNR. 2022

[5] See Footnote 2.

[6] "Iowa DNR, Waste Management Division (year 2000 estimate)." As per phone conversation with Jeff Geerts. August 29, 2018.



Last Updated on August 1, 2023.

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Contact - Iowa

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


Bill Blum
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Land Quality Bureau
502 East 9th St
Des Moines, IA 50319
P: (515) 725-8200
E: [email protected]


Iowa Recycling Association
PO Box 10954
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410
P: (515) 265-1596