Bottleneck at the bottle return? Recycle instead!

Clearing out cans? Consider recycling! The deposit you paid will be used to fund programs to clean and protect our environment.

If you’re returning, remember: Michigan limits returns to 250 containers per person, per day at a single location.

Please rinse your containers first and remember, the State requires everyone to wear a mask inside stores and other public places.

Be patient and considerate of grocery store employees.

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250 cans per person / per day / per store


Please rinse your containers

Stop the bottleneck!

We know you’ve waited months to return your bottles and cans. So have millions of Michiganders, so the lines may be long at the bottle return. If you’re tired of the hassle, help us fix Michigan’s complicated state-mandated bottle return system. 


Michigan’s bottle bill – passed by voters as an 


“anti-littering” bill in 1976 –  requires your local grocer and party store to charge a deposit and take back empty beverage containers. But is that really the best way to keep our environment clean? Especially with heightened concerns about the spread of viruses and bacteria.


If you value a clean environment AND a clean grocery store, help us advocate for community recycling instead of mandatory beverage container deposits and returns. We’ve made it easy – here are messages you can share in emails to the Governor and Michigan lawmakers. Use the following links to find contact information. 


State Senator

State Representative

Recommended Message Points

  • I support recycling, but Michigan’s 40-year-old bottle bill is an outdated, complicated and unsanitary way to recycle.

  • It’s time for Michigan lawmakers to take action to simplify and clean up recycling – it’s time to repeal the 1976 Michigan Bottle Deposit Law and replace it with a comprehensive recycling system.

  • I value a clean environment and a clean grocery store. Returning used bottles and cans to our stores is unsanitary – and, as we’ve been reminded throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unsafe.

  • Instead of a single-step system, where consumers place all recyclables in a curbside recycling bin or bring them directly to a community recycling center, Michigan’s inefficient multi-step system:

    • Asks consumers to sort returnables and bring their dirty cans and bottles back to stores,

    • Requires stores to accept, sort and store the dirty containers, and

    • Requires beverage distributors to pick up used containers and either recycle or dispose of the materials.

  • Let’s keep Michigan beautiful and safe by cleaning up and simplifying our recycling system.

Thank you for taking action. The Michigan Retailers Association and Michigan Recycling Partnership believe that the very best way to improve recycling practices and increase the state’s recycling rate is to make recycling convenient and efficient through a single recycling stream. To get there, we need to repeal the bottle bill and invest in local recycling programs. That will help us establish the additional curbside and/or drop-off programs needed to ensure that every Michigander has a place for their used carbonated beverage containers to go.