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How Maine’s bottle bill works

In World
May 20, 2024

May 19—Under Maine’s beverage container redemption program, when a manufacturer, bottling company or distributor sells a beverage that falls under the redemption law, it collects from the retailer 5 cents for each beverage or 15 cents on spirits and wine.

The retailer then charges the consumer the appropriate deposit at the time of purchase. When the consumer drops off the containers at a redemption center, the deposit is refunded.

The distributor then collects the containers from the redemption centers, paying the center 5 cents or 15 cents per container as well as 6 cents per container as a handling fee.

The law applies to all beverages except dairy and dairy-derived products, unprocessed cider, and Maine-produced apple cider and blueberry juice.

Under the law, a 15-cent refundable deposit is placed on all spirits and wine beverage containers above 50 milliliters sold in Maine. A 5-cent refundable deposit is placed on all other beverage containers, including beer, hard cider, wine coolers, soda, carbonated and noncarbonated water beverages sold in Maine.

The redemption rate for beverage containers in Maine in 2022 was 78%, with the unclaimed deposits going back to the state general fund.

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