Deposit Return Systems

Last modified: March 23, 2019
Talking Points
National Beverage Producer
Responsibility Act of 2002, S. 2220


The National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act of 2002:
  • Requires the beverage industry to recover 80% of their beverage containers sold.
  • Won't use taxpayer dollars -- will actually save taxpayers money.
  • Creates jobs.
  • Will reduce energy-related pollution that causes acid rain, smog, and global climate change.
  • Reduces litter and the burden on landfills.
Will Save an Enormous Amount of Energy
  • Recycling aluminum saves 65% of the energy required to make aluminum from virgin materials. In fact, recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours. [Aluminum Association]
  • The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will operate a 100-watt light bulb for over an hour.
Won't Take A Penny of Taxpayers Dollars--Will Actually Save Taxpayer Dollars
  • Throwaway beverage containers are a burden on taxpayers. When deposits are required on beverage containers, twice as many containers are recycled. Disposal, recycling and litter pickup costs go down, saving taxpayer dollars.
Saving Energy Reduces Energy-Related Air Pollution
  • Recycling decreases energy-related emissions by decreasing the energy needed to make products form virgin materials. When aluminum cans are recycled, 65% of the pollution is reduced.
  • Recycling decreases energy-related emissions of gases that cause smog, acid rain, and global climate change.
Will Create Jobs
  • Iowa reports that 1,200 additional jobs have been created through the creation of their bottle bill.
  • If every state had a deposit / return system about 100,000 jobs could be created nationwide.
Will Reduce Litter and Reduce Burden on Landfills
  • Seven states reported a reduction of beverage container litter ranging from 70 to 83 percent after implementing a deposit / return system.
  • Existing beverage container recycling programs reduce landfill space by 20 million cubic yards a year -- or enough to fill the Rose Bowl 25 times.
Will Increase Container Recycling
  • In 1999 more than 114,000,000,000 (114 billion) beverage containers were wasted - landfilled, burned or littered. [Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling]
  • The 10 deposit states recycle more beverage containers than the other 40 states together. States with a 5-10 cent deposit recover 78% of the beverage containers they target.
Enjoys Strong Public Support in Bottle Bill States
  • States that have deposit / return systems consistently report 70-80 percent approval for the system, and their populations support engage more in other forms of recycling.

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