EAST LANSING - Starting Monday, October 5th, Michigan residents will be able to return their plastic bottles and aluminum cans. All grocery stores, supermarkets or any place with a reverse vending machine must reopen their bottle returns. Retailers that require in person contact for bottle return are given the option to re-open at their discretion and are allowed to implement any of the following:
• Limiting the amount of returnables an individual person can do in a day to a total refund of $25
• Limiting the hours for return facilities
• Closing return facilities for cleaning and supply management
• Implement other procedures or restrictions as they see fit
Governor Gretchen Whitmer initially suspended the return of all bottles and cans on March 23rd. The suspension was lifted on June 15th, but with limiting restrictions. Since then, many people have either been saving their returnables or simply throwing them away. What many people do not know is how much money was lost due to the suspension. In just the two months from April too May, Michigan lost over $50 million in bottle returns.
Michigan breweries have also been struggling during these times. Many Michigan breweries only serve beer in cans and the aluminum shortage has really been hurting those businesses. Not just Michigan companies, but companies everywhere have been struggling to keep up with the demand for canned beverages. Having new options for bottles and can returns will drastically impact people and businesses everywhere.