MI Bottle Bill

02/19/2010


On December 30, 2008 the Michigan legislature enacted Public Act 389, which resulted in the enactment of section 455.572a (amendments to the bottle bill, hereinafter “The Amendment”). The Amendment prohibits the product manufacturer from selling metal, glass and plastic alcoholic and non-alcoholic* beverage containers without Reverse Vending Machines markings (hereinafter “Markings” (i.e. barcodes, symbols, or distinctive markings unique to MI or other states with substantially similar requirements, which are read by the RVM to determine whether the container is redeemable)), if certain thresholds are met. The amendment was passed and enacted in conjunction with two other interconnected bills, Public Acts 387 and 388 (the Reverse Vending Machine Antifraud Act, and the Beverage Container Redemption Antifraud Act). The bills became effective immediately upon being passed (December 30th 2008).

The passage of these three bills effectuated the immediate creation of the beverage container redemption antifraud fund. The Amendment only comes into effect once the fund, equals or exceeds $1 million (the first threshold).

Thereafter, 90 days from the first threshold, the bill becomes effective, and markings are required as to 12 ounce metal beverage containers, and 450 days from the first threshold, it applies to 12 ounce glass and 20 ounce plastic alcoholic beverage containers, if either 1) sales of that brand in Michigan were at least 500,000 cases or case equivalents in the last calendar year, or 2) sales of that brand in Michigan were less than 500,000 cases or case equivalents but containers of that brand were over-redeemed by more than 600,000 cases or case equivalents.

Manufacturer, as it applies to the Amendment means the manufacturer of the product, or the one who has control over the bottling.

The $1 million threshold was reached on December 1, 2009. Therefore, if all other conditions are met for the brand involved, then compliance is required for 12 ounce metal containers on March 1, 2010, and is required for 12 ounce glass and 20 ounce plastic containers on February 24, 2011.

As stated in the law, the penalty for willful noncompliance with this bill is imprisonment for no more than 180 days, or a fine of not more than $2000.

*nonalcoholic beverages include territorial limitations of sale which differentiate between the Upper Peninsula and the rest of the state.




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