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Expanded bottle, can returns will begin in two weeks

Rex Roof
Creative Commons

More retailers will resume accepting bottle and can returns starting October 5.

Larger stores with machines in front have been taking returnables, but the rule now applies to all retailers with machines.

Amy Drumm is with the Michigan Retailers Association.

“Not every store will be accepting cans and bottles yet. There are still stores that don’t have reverse vending machines, that hand count those or sort them by hand. And those will be continued to be allowed to put that on hold,” she said.

Drumm says the success of resuming more widespread bottle and can returns also relies on ensuring the returnables are regularly picked up from stores.

Retailers are also allowed to suspend accepting returns if storage areas are filled.

Ron Leix is with the state treasury department.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to make sure that bottle returns are safe for everybody. That includes the workers at the store and the individuals returning cans and bottles back to the retailer,” he said.

Leix says stores can limit returns to no more than $25 per visit, the same as before the COVID-19 orders. And they can limit the hours that returns will be accepted.

Stores without machines get to decide whether to accept returnable bottles and cans.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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