Iowa’s Bottle Bill Could Be Changing for the First Time in 40 Years
There are only 10 states throughout the U.S that have bottle bills, which are sometimes known as container deposit-return laws. Growing up in Minnesota, we always joked about bringing our empty cans to Iowa. That never actually happened but even as a kid I've been aware of Iowa and Michigan having some kind of bottle bill program.
If you're from Iowa or have lived in Iowa for a long time you're probably familiar with the bottle bill but if you're not, it's pretty easy to understand. Think of it like buying the beverage and borrowing the packaging, according to Newsroom Tomra. You are compensated, if you return the recyclables, as this method has been proven to help reduce litter and increase recycling rates.
All of these positives sound great, so then why do only 10 states have a bottle bill? Some of the bigger companies against bottle bills are Anheuser Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, International Bottled Water Association, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Why are these companies against bottle bills? Here are a few of the reasons for the opposition to bottle bills according to Industry Week
Deposits aren't needed where there is curbside recycling, deposit systems address a small portion of littler: 7 to 25 percent, deposits rob curbside programs of valuable aluminum can revenue, and deposits are a tax and increase the price of beverages.
This might be the first time there's a change to the bottle bill, in Iowa, in over 40 years according to KCRG. SF 2378 passed 30-15 on possibly raising the handling fee business earn per container. As of today, it's 1 cent per container, this new bill wants to raise that to 3 cents per container.
This will give grocery stores the chance to opt-out of accepting previously bought cans or bottles. Stores would need to have an agreement with a redemption center or operate within 10 miles of one, according to KCRG.
Governor Reynolds has not decided if she is going to sign the new bill or not.