From Iowa House Republicans:
The current bottle deposit and redemption system has become outdated. One primary issue is the lack of redemption centers and viable and convenient options for redeeming cans and bottles. Many of the parties on all sides of the issue are ignoring the law without any consequences. Significant work was done last year that makes changes to the system. That work continued this year and this week the House passed a bottle bill reform measure that makes the bottle deposit and redemption system one that works for today’s consumers.
Senate File 2378 takes many positive steps towards improving the current system. It increases the handling fee for redemption centers and retailers to take empty containers to three cents per container. It also gives retailers the ability to opt-out of taking empty containers back if they meet one of the following criteria:
1) retailer has a food establishment license and has a certified food protection manager on site,
2) retailer has an agreement with a mobile redemption system, or
3) the retailer is within the radius of a redemption center based on the convenience standard for their county.
House Republicans also worked to ensure a number of consumer protections were included in the bill. These include ensuring the convenience standard (required radius for redemption center based on a county’s population) remains the law, encouraging additional redemption centers and retailers to take back empty containers by increasing the handling fee to three cents per container, and added enforcement mechanisms to ensure the law is enforced.
Senate File 2378 as amended, also enhances enforcement by strengthening fines and enabling the DNR and attorney general to work together to ensure all stakeholders – retailers, distributors, redemption centers, and recyclers are following the law. Finally, establishes a legislative review committee that will meet ahead of the 2026 legislative session to review how the law is working and report back to the legislature its findings and recommendations.
The current bottle deposit and redemption system has not been updated in over 40 years. These are positive changes for all Iowans that ensure consumers can conveniently redeem their empty containers.