Expansion Proposed for Iowa’s Bottle Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa – Proposed legislation would make changes to Iowa’s Bottle Bill, changes a group of bi-partisan legislators say will bring the bill “into the 21st century.”

Iowa’s current Bottle Bill covers all carbonated and alcoholic beverages and tacks on a five-cent deposit per container during purchase. The empty container can then be returned to a store or taken to a redemption center to receive the five-cent deposit back.

The proposed legislation, introduced by Republican Rep. Andy McKean and Democrat Rep. Chuck Isenhart, would expand the Bottle Bill to cover water, juice, and sports drink bottles. The bill’s sponsors say despite most of those containers being recyclable – they do not end up being recycled.

The legislation would also let retailers and redemption centers keep two-cents per container of the deposit as a handling fee instead of the current one-cent fee.

“I’m very pleased that 40 State Representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, joined me in sponsoring this legislation,” said Rep. McKean. “I think it is compelling evidence of the strong public support to keep and expand the Bottle Bill that’s been good for bother the environment and economic development.”

Results of a Waste Characterization Study done by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources released earlier this month show the recovery rate for containers covered under the state’s Bottle bill is 71-percent. That’s down from 86-percent in 2007.

An effort to do away with the Bottle Bill last legislative session failed.