Bottles Will Soon Return on a Dime!

Bottles Will Soon Return on a Dime!

 Courtesy of Know Your Nickle campaign

Courtesy of Know Your Nickle campaign

Metal, plastic and glass from cans and bottles can be turned into all sorts of new products - but only if they get returned for recycling. Oregonians are about to have double the reason to recycle beverage containers. Starting April 1, 2017 consumers will get 10 cents for each beverage container they recycle at a return center — the first increase in the Oregon Bottle Bill’s 45-year history.

The Bottle Bill Gets Bottles and Cans Recycled

Oregon was the first state to enact a redemption program back in 1971. And early on, it was clear it worked. The Bottle Bill collected more than 90 percent of the bottles and cans and reduced litter by 77 percent.

Even though the redemption rate is now down to 64 percent, the 5 cent incentive continues to get more materials recycled. The rate of recycling for containers that are made of the same types of materials, but are not accepted by the bottle bill, is only 37 percent.

The Bottle Bill Keeps It Local

Not only does this system help recover more beverage containers, it helps keep those containers incredibly clean, which makes them more valuable on the open market. With PET containers (#1 plastic), it even led to a unique partnership to help recycle this material locally.

In 2013, a group of local investors signed a long-term agreement with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (ORBC), the industry-owned corporation that runs the state’s redemption system, to purchase all of the PET containers collected under the bottle bill. The resulting facility, ORPET, is located in St. Helens, Oregon. Previous to the building of the facility, a strong export market existed. This is a good example of local infrastructure responding to local markets within our state’s recycling system.

 Owens Illinois in NE Portland turning glass into bottles for a local microbrewery

Owens Illinois in NE Portland turning glass into bottles for a local microbrewery

oregon ups the Ante next spring

While litter continues to be greatly reduced in this state, over time the incentive to recycle has dropped as the nickel has dropped in value. The latest numbers from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) show Oregonians redeemed 68 percent in 2014 and 64 percent in 2015.

Under state law, two consecutive years with redemption rates below 80 percent allow OLCC to raise the deposit from a nickel to a dime. So in July of this year, the commission determined that it was time to raise the incentive. Starting April 1, consumers will get a dime back for carbonated beverages and water containers. Also beginning January 1, 2018, more types of beverage containers will carry a deposit, including containers for tea, coffee, fruit juice, coconut water, hard cider and kombucha.

BottleDrop Centers make Fundraising easier

Master Recyclers set up clear stream recycling at local sporting events, music festivals and farmers markets. Along with getting bottles and cans recycled at these community gatherings, your efforts turn into a way of making money for the community.

OBRC introduced a new fundraising opportunity through BottleDrop Redemption Centers – the Fundraiser Blue Bag program. Fundraiser Blue Bags can be used by nonprofit organizations to collect deposit cans and bottles and easily receive the refunds through a fundraising account at BottleDrop.

BottleDropCenters.com/Fundraising