Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Michigan 2015-2016

Michigan Senate Bill 199

Bill Number and Name Michigan Senate Bill 199 – To Expand Beverages Covered Under the Existing Container Deposit Law
Primary Sponsor Senator Rebekah Warren 


01/13/2016 2016 Session Convened, no activity since convening
03/12/2015 Introduced By Senator Rebekah Warren; Referred To Committee On Natural Resources

Proposed Changes/Summary

Currently, the Michigan container deposit system enacts a beverage container deposit system that includes beer, carbonated soft drinks, carbonated water, wine coolers, wine & liquor. This bill would add non-carbonated water and non-alcoholic carbonated and non-carbonated beverages to the current legislation.

Beverages Added

  • Non-Carbonated Water
  • Non-alcoholic carbonated and non-carbonated beverages

Deposits and Fees

  • Remains unchanged

Redemption System

  • Remains unchanged


  • No penalties

Michigan 2013 legislation

Two Bills were introduced in Michigan in 2013: One to expand the beverage types covered by the deposit, and one to establish penalties for fraudulent redemption.

The 2013 Expansion Bill

Bill Number and Name HB 4198, SB 0432

Representatives Sean McCann - (primary)
Jeff Irwin, George T. Darany, Ellen Cogen Lipton,

Senator Rebekah Warren

Beverages Covered Expanded to include all nonalcoholic drinks (except plain rice milk, plain soy milk, and dairy drinks)
Containers Covered Excludes aseptic containers for nonalcoholic beverages*


The major change specified by this expansion bill is to expand the containers covered to include noncarbonated soft drinks.

*A passage within the bill seems to serve the intention of excepting aseptic packaging for nonalcoholic beverages from the deposit:

(b) "Beverage container" means an 1 of the following: (i) An airtight metal, glass, paper, or plastic container, or a container composed of a combination of these materials, which , at the time of sale , contains 1 gallon or less of a beverage other than a nonalcoholic beverage. (ii) An airtight metal, glass, or plastic container which at the time of sale contains 1 gallon or less of a nonalcoholic beverage other than a container composed in whole or in part of aluminum and plastic or aluminum and paper in combination if the aluminum content represents 10% or less of the unfilled container weight and the unfilled container weight is 5% or less of the filled container weight.  

Other minor changes are also proposed to the existing legislation, mainly to clarify meanings and simplify the writing. The Senate bill and House bill are almost identical but for a few variations in wording.


February 6, 2013: House bill introduced and referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform

June 13, 2013: Senate bill introduced and referred to Committee On Natural Resources, Environment And Great Lakes


The 2013 Anti-fraud Bill

Bill Number and Name House Bill 5041
Sponsors Kenneth Kurtz


Michigan's existing deposit law enumerates a tiered system of penalties for fraudulent redemption, applying to individuals, dealers, distributors, and their employees. This bill makes only one small change in language, to make it clear that the penalties apply not only to people who actually redeem nonreturnable containers, but also to people who attempt to do so.


January 22, 2013 Introduced and referred to Committee on Regulatory Reform

The last reported action on this bill was its second reading on February 26.

The 2008 Michigan Campaign

Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), the organization that led the campaign for Michigan's original bottle bill in 1976, is at it again, this time hoping to expand the law to cover noncarbonated beverages. While the expansion was unsuccessful, three tie-barred bills relating to redemption fraud did pass into law.


Below, David Nyberg explains MUCC's strategy for expanding Michigan's bottle bill:

The vehicle we are trying to leverage is a package of bills that are designed to reduce the fraudulent returns in the state from non-deposit containers from bordering state.  (Figures show that this costs Michigan' $12 Million or so annually)

The distributors, retailers, and soft drink associations pulled their muscle behind this package because it reduces the amount of unclaimed deposits that they pay for - and/or perhaps to "open up" the law to make some changes.

MUCC supports this package, but made the latest push to expand the law to include water/non carb containers because there are three bills in this package which would amend the Bottle Bill, thus opening it up for other changes/amendments.  The bills that amend our Bottle Bill are SBs 1391, 1393, and 1394. 

In sum, we're taking a non-controversial bill package as a vehicle for the idea of expansion - whether it be tie-barring SB 29 (the bill for including non-carbonated beverages) to SB 1391, 1393, and 1394 (they are already tie-barred to each other), or by substituting one of those bills with language that would expand the definition of returnable containers.

SB 29 (Switalski)
Expands bottle deposit law to include additional carbonated and non-carbonated beverage containers, except milk products or other dairy-delivered beverages.

SB 1391, 1393, and 1394 are tie-barred


SB 1391 (Cameron Brown)
For people that return out of state containers or other containers that no deposit was paid:

  1. 25-100 containers: sets a civil fine of not more than $500.
  2. More than 100 containers: increases fine to $1000.
  3. Adds repeat offender language: makes it a felony with up to 2 years jail and/or $5000 fine.

SB 1393 (Allen)
Change sign posted on reverse vending machine to reflect increase in penalties in SB 1391.

SB 1394 (Jelinek)
Allows dealers to set daily limits per customer on maximum amount of returns for a cash refund in the following amounts:

  1. $25.00 for any dealer that has 1 or more reverse vending machines
  2. $5.00 for other dealers


January 24, 2007: SB 29 Introduced and referred to Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs

June 17, 2008: SB 1391, 1393, and 1394 Introduced and referred to Committee on Commerce and Tourism


Senate Bills Amending Part 451 of 1994 (NREPA)

SB 1395 (Jelinek)
Allows unclaimed bottle deposit funds to be used for grants for:

  1. Research and development of new technologies for dealers to process containers
  2. Retrofitting reverse vending machines to accommodate new technologies.

New Senate Bills

SB 821 (Jelinek): Bottle Deposit Fund Anti-Fraud Act
Requires identifying marking of returnable beverage containers in this state. Requires reverse vending machines that will read identifying marking on returnable beverage containers in this state.

SB 822 (Jelinek): Reverse Vending Machine Act
Provides standards for reverse vending machines.

Tie-barred Anti-fraud bills

The following bills all relate to reducing fraudulent redemption at reverse vending machines in Michigan. All of the bills were tie-barred to one or more of the others, so in essence, if one of them didn't pass, none of them would pass. They all passed.

House Bill 6442 (Act #384)
Amended the beverage container deposit law to revise a requirement that dealers post a notice of the penalty for returning out-of-State nonreturnable containers.

House Bill 6441(Act #385)
Revised the penalties for knowingly returning nonrefundable beverage containers to a dealer for a refund. Prescribed penalties for a dealer or distributor who knowingly accepts and pays a deposit for nonreturnable containers.

SB 1392 (Act #386)
Amended the sentencing guidelines in the Code of Criminal Procedure to include the felonies enacted by House Bills 5147 and 6441.

HB 5147: Reverse Vending Machine Antifraud act (Act #387)
Will take effect when at least $1.0 million is appropriated for deposit into the Beverage Container Redemption Antifraud Fund.
Requires reverse vending machines to be able to (1) identify, (2) deny a refund to, and (3) capture and destroy at least 85 percent of the foreign containers (containers not marked for Michigan deposit) placed in it.

SB 1648 (Brown and Jelinek): Beverage Container Redemption Antifraud Act (Act #388)
Took effect on December, 2008. In order to help RVM manufactuers and detailers comply with the requirements of Act #387 (HB 5147), this bill does the following:

  • Limits a manufacturer's payment to the cost of retrofitting or the cost of vision technology or $5,000, whichever is less.
  • Creates the "Beverage Container Redemption Antifraud Fund" and requires it to be used for payments to manufacturers and costs of administration.
  • Requires any money remaining in the Fund to be distributed to dealers for the purchase of new RVMs that will be operated in the State.
  • Requires dealers to report to the Department.

SB 1532 (Jelinek): (Act #389)
Will take effect when at least $1.0 million is appropriated for deposit into the Beverage Container Redemption Antifraud Fund.
Would require special markings on certain beverage containers sold or over-redeemed in high quantities in Michigan, starting with brands sold in 12-ounce metal cans.  The mark would have to allow a reverse vending machine, but not necessarily a person, to determine whether the container is properly returnable and the mark would have to be unique to Michigan or one or more states with substantially similar laws.  The mark requirement would apply to brands with sales of more than 500,000 cases (500,000 case equivalents for alcoholic beverages) or over-redemptions of more than 600,000 containers in the previous year, as determined by the Department of Treasury.  (Non-alcoholic brands would not have to be sold in "designated" containers in the Upper Peninsula unless that brand's previous year's sales or over-redemptions in the Upper Peninsula met the threshold.) 



Dave Nyberg
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Search Our Site

No time to read this whole website?

View the PowerPoint presentation instead. Container Deposit Legislation: Past, Present, Future provides a quick look at the most important facts about bottle bills. This presentation is also a great tool for activists needing to present information in support of a bottle bill.