Bottle Bill Resource Guide

2011 North Carolina deposit-refund bill

North Carolina's proposed Act to Beautify Roads and Clean Up Its Countryside consists of a beverage container deposit law.

Bill Number and Name H 671
Sponsors Representatives Hamilton, Haire, Hall, and Harrison (Primary Sponsors).
Beverages Covered All ready-to-drink beverages
Containers Covered Sealed glass, metal, or plastic containers
  • malt beverage and spirituous liquor containers of greater than 50 milliliters: 10¢
  • All other containers: 5¢
Handling Fees 5¢, paid by distributor to retailer/redemption center
Reclamation System Return to retail or redemption center
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by state


Requires all beverage containers sold in the state to be made of recycled or recyclable materials.

Every five years, if return rates are less than 75%, the refund value may be increased by 5¢.

Distributors are required to keep deposit funds in a separate account and remit the unredeemed deposits to the state monthly. Distributors may keep interest earned on these accounts. Unredeemed deposits are to be used by the state for administering the law and paying out handling fees. Any funds left over are to go to the Inactive Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.


April 5, 2011: Filed

April 7, 2011: Passed first reading, referred to Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House


The 2009 North Carolina Campaign

Senator Doug Berger, sponsor of the 2007 North Carolina bottle bill, has introduced one again in the Litter Reduction Act of 2009

Bill Number and Name S641, Litter Reduction Act of 2009
Primary Sponsor Senator Doug Berger
Beverages Covered Any ready‑to‑drink liquid intended for human consumption.
Containers Covered All sealed individual containers from 50mL to 4L
Deposits 10¢
Handling Fees 2% of the refund value
Other Fees / Taxes  
Reclamation System Return to redemption centers
Unredeemed Deposits Retained by the state for litter reduction and recycling education programs


In addition to requiring a refundable deposit on all beverage containers, the Litter Reduction Act also requires that all beverages sold in the state be packaged in recyclable or recycled material. The refund value for any specific material type may be increased every five years if the redemption rate for that material is under 75%.


March 17, 2009: S641 filed

March 18, 2009: Referred to Committee on Commerce


Senator Doug Berger
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(919) 715-8363

The 2007 North Carolina Campaign

The year 2007 saw a new bill introduced in North Carolina, "to address the blight that litter imposes on the highways and lands of this State, while creating incentives for manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers of beverages in beverage containers to recycle and reuse beverage containers."

Bill #

S 215, Litter Reduction Act of 2007

Primary Sponsor

Senator Doug Berger (D)

Provisions of Bill:

Administering Agency: Department and the Commission for Health Services

Amount of Deposit: 10¢

Containers Covered: All ready-to-drink beverages in sealed containers 50 mL - 4L

Containers Returned to: Licensed Redemption Centers

Unclaimed Deposits: Retained by state in The Unredeemed Beverage Container Deposits Account

Handling Fee: 2% of refund value, paid by Department, to redemption center



Senate Bill 215 (The Litter Reduction Act of 2007) was introduced on February 20th.  North Carolina’s 2007 bottle deposit proposal would have put a ten-cent deposit on beverage containers and established private redemption centers for consumers to return empties for recycling and to receive their refund.

The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Doug Berger, a Youngsville Democrat and lawyer, cited the importance of creating an economic incentive to recycle and to pick up roadside litter. It has been estimated that, by weight or volume, discarded glass and plastic bottles are about half of the litter that befouls North Carolina's roadsides, sidewalks, parks and waterways.

The bill was debated in the Senate Commerce Committee, but no other action was taken on the proposal. Commerce Committee Chairman R.C. Soles was of the opinion that the bill would not pass this year. He suggested that a groundswell of support would be needed to consider the bill in the short session next year.

Senator Berger acknowledged that the bill would not receive a majority of the 26-member committee's votes because of opposition from more than two dozen corporations and powerful lobbying interests. Opponents of the bill flew in a Massachusetts consultant who regularly appears at legislative hearings across the country in opposition to bottle deposit proposals to criticize their litter-reducing potential.

Senator Berger said, "I have touched no bill since I have been in the legislature that was more popular with the people -- or more despised by the opposition. The impetus has got to come from people putting pressure on their legislators."

Some senators expressed frustration with North Carolina's growing litter problem. Last year the state spent $16.6 million to remove 10.1 million pounds of roadside litter. "What we're doing now is not working," Sen. Bill Purcell told his colleagues. The Massachusetts consultant suggested that the best way to reduce litter is to target advertisements to the young adults through advertising campaigns.

Wyatt McGhee, a retired Air Force colonel and chairman of Franklin County's Solid Waste Task Force, urged the committee to endorse the bottle deposit bill as a way to reduce litter. He testified that North Carolina could once again become ‘The Clean Roads State’ by passing this legislation. “The time has come to do something about it," he said.


Senator Doug Berger
(919) 715-8363
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wyatt McGhee
(919) 494-7361


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.