Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Name  The Beverage Container Act
Purpose To reduce litter and increase recycling
Enacted 2 July 1971
Date Implemented 1 October 1972 (last updated in 2019)
Beverages Covered

Beverages ≤ 3L: [1]

  • Water, flavored water, soda water, and mineral water
  • Beer/malt beverages
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Hard seltzers
  • Kombucha

Beverages between 4 oz and 1.5L:

  • Tea 
  • Coffee 
  • Hard cider (if 8.5% ABV or less)
  • Fruit, vegetable, and aloe vera juice
  • Non-alcoholic wine 
  • Beverages containing marijuana or hemp
  • Energy and sports drinks 
  • Coconut water
  • Oral electrolyte replacements
  • Ready to drink cocktail mixers
  • Muscle Milk
  • Beverages containing dairy or plant-based milk where milk is not the first ingredient
Beverages Not Covered
  • Distilled spirits
  • Wine
  • Infant formula
  • Liquid meal replacements
  • Dairy and dairy alternative-based beverages)
Containers Covered Any individual, separate, sealed glass, metal or plastic bottle, can, jar containing a covered beverage in a quantity less than 3 fluid liters. See details below for information about Oregon's BottleDrop refillables program.
Containers Not Covered Beverages in cartons, foil pouches, drink boxes, and metal containers that require a tool to be opened are not included even if the beverage and container size would otherwise have a refund value.
Amount of Deposit 10¢ USD
Reclamation System Retail stores or approved redemption centers. As of early 2020, there were 25 redemption centers operating.
Handling Fee None; co-op funds redemption centers in partnership with retailers
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by distributor/ bottlers/the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.
Redemption Rate [2]
  Metal Glass Plastic Overall
2020 80.82% 66.97% 74.94% 77.21%
2019 89.6% 76.8% 83.5% 85.8%
2018 86.9% 75.6% 74.9% 81.0%
2017 78.2% 67.2% 68.5% 73.3%
2016 69.9% 65.2% 54.6% 64.3%
2015 70.9% 67.6% 51.9% 64.5%
2014 74.3% 71.9% 55.4% 68.3%
2013 76.3% 74.8% 57.9% 71.0%
2012 77.1% 78.5% 54.4% 71.0%


Oregon’s Bottle Bill was introduced in 1971 as the very first bottle bill in the U.S.  The bill was created to address a growing litter problem along Oregon beaches, highways and other public areas.  Over the years, the Bottle Bill has prompted several other green initiatives.  

The law remained relatively unchanged [3] until bottled water was added to the system in 2009. The law was expanded again to allow for an increase of the deposit/refund value from 5¢ to 10¢ beginning in 1 April 2017 as a result of the redemption rate staying below 80% for two consecutive years (68.26% in 2014 and 64.45% in 2015). [3]

The same bill further expanded the law. Effective 1 January 2018, all beverage containers except distilled liquor, wine, dairy or plant-based milk, and infant formula now included a deposit. Water, beer, and carbonated soft drinks continue to require a deposit and most other beverages were added, including but not limited to: tea, coffee, hard cider, fruit juice, and coconut water. [4] In 2019, SB 247 was passed which further expanded the bill to include hard seltzers and beverages containing kombucha. [5] "Kefir, drinkable yogurt, milk-based smoothies and other beverages" containing milk or dairy alternatives were later added in 2020. [6]

For nearly 40 years, redemption centers did not exist in Oregon, but early in 2010, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved the first experimental distributor-run redemption center in Wood Village, and later, Oregon City. Operating under the name BottleDrop and run by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, a privately-owned extended producer responsibility (EPR) organization, there are currently 25 redemption centers operating around Oregon. Distributors first began reporting to OLCC for the 2012 calendar year, based on a change in state law. Before that, there was no systematic reporting of beverage sales and returns in Oregon.

There can be up to two “convenience zones” surrounding a redemption center.  Large retailers (5,000 square feet or more) within a convenience zone may choose to participate in a redemption center or to provide equivalent services.  Participating large retailers located in the first convenience zone may refuse to redeem any containers and participating large retailers located in the second convenience zone may refuse to redeem more than 24 containers.  Small convenience type retailers (under 5,000 square feet) within either redemption center convenience zone may refuse to redeem more than 24 containers.

Refillables system

A refillables system in Oregon is operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), and uses standardized, Oregon-specific bottles. The program is open to all bottlers. As of early 2021, 11 bottlers of  beer, wine, and hard cider were selling about 100 beverage brands in OBRC refillables. Existing BottleDrop locations are used for bottle redemption. [7] OBRC reported that this system prevented 407,840 bottles from being crushed and recycled in 2019. [8][9]


[1] "Oregon's Bottle Bill: Included Beverages." Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Reviewed July 2020.

[2] "BEVERAGE CONTAINER RETURN DATA." Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Submitted by 1 August 2021.

[3] Small amendments were made in 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, and 1993 to ban nondegradable can ring holders and change the number of containers that stores are required to redeem per person per day.

[4] "2018 Bottle Bill Expansion: Frequently Asked Questions." Oregon Liquor Control Commission. 2017.

[5]OR SB 247.. 2019. Oregon Live LLC.

[6] "Oregon Bottle Bill Changes, Additions Coming in 2020." Oregon Liquor Control Commission. 20 December 2019.

[7] “Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In US.” Profita, Cassandra. Oregon Public Broadcasting. 27 August 2018.

[8]Personal communication with Eric Chambers. Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC). 16 February 2021

[9] OBRC presentation at CRI webinar: “The Return of Refillables in the United States.” Presented at CRI webinar. Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC). 13 December 2018.

Additional Reports:

"2021 Beverage Container Redemption Centers 2018 – 2019," See Report

"2019 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

"2018 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report

 "2017 Annual Report," Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, See Report


Last Updated 4 August 2021.

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Contact - Oregon

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


Information for distributors and manufacturers:
Becky Voelkel
Oregon Liquor Control Commission
9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd
Portland, OR 97222
Office:  503-872-5132 | Fax:  503-872-5110
[email protected]

Information on environment and recycling:
Peter Spendelow
Department of Environmental Quality
811 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503/229-5253
[email protected]


Association of Oregon Recyclers
PO Box 1264
Tualatin, OR 97062
TEL: 503-233-3056
Fax: N/A
Info: [email protected]

Recycling Advocates
P.O. Box 6736
Portland, OR 97228-6736
[email protected]

Stewardship Organization

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative
3900 NW Yeon Ave.
Portland, OR 97210
Telephone: 503-222-2266
FAX: 503-222-2291
Email: [email protected]