Every Michigander feels the squeeze when they buy a pop.

Why are Michigan Bottle Deposits so High?

Sure, it's only 10 cents. But that 10 cents really adds up, especially when you're buying a case, or multiple cases.

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However, once you've drunk all your pop (or sparkling water or beer, for those 21 years and older), you can gather all your cans from where they're sitting in the garage, and return them for all to get your money back.

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But, why does Michigan have such a high bottle return in the first place?

Michigan Bottle Bill

For that answer, we'd have to go back to 1976 when the Michigan government first passed the bottle bill.

This bill calls for

Beer, wine coolers, canned cocktails, soft drinks, carbonated and mineral water [in] Any airtight container under one gallon composed of metal, glass, paper, or plastic,

to be returned for recycling to redeem your deposit.

In Michigan, the deposit is one dime per container. Part of the reason that amount was chosen was to curb litter, encourage recycling, and provide funding for environmental programs. Since 2000, Michigan has had a return rate of about 95% percent.

How Much are Bottles Returns in Different States?

Although Michigan's reposit of 10 cents might sound steep, the Mitten State isn't the only state charging a dime a can.

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Other states with deposits of 10 cents or more include:

  • California (10 cents for containers greater than or equal to 24 oz.)
  • Maine (15 cents for wine and liquor bottles)
  • Oregon (10 cents)
  • Vermont (10 cents for liquor)

Other states have 5-cent returns or don't have deposits on containers at all.

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