West Bloomfield, MI (June 15, 2016) — The latest bottle return scam is just another example why members of the Midwest Independent Retailers Association (MIRA) pointing out as a reason to change the bottle bill laws in Michigan.
“We have been pushing for curbside recycling for years,” said president and CEO Auday Arabo. “These latest incidences of a Genesee County man trying to return 10,000 in empty beverage containers to a Livingston County retailer, violating the State’s beverage container law is just another reason why the bottle deposit is not effective. Thankfully he was caught, but more than 90% of the fraud which takes place around the bottle bill goes without notice.”
Of the only 10 states that put deposits on beverage containers, Michigan has the highest deposit on bottles and cans in the country at 10 cents which leaves it wide open to rampant fraud like that which occurred just recently in Livingston County. The bottle deposit retention rate or the rate at which people actually return their empties to get back their 10 cents, has fallen continuously for almost a decade and on top of that, without taking fraud into account, how do we really know what the actual retention rate is? Is Michigan’s bottle deposit law really successful in recapturing recyclable materials or is it just an incredibly inviting endeavor for criminals and fraud?
“This type of fraudulent activity hurts Michigan businesses and consumers who ultimately end up paying the price for these criminals’ malfeasance and really hinders the overall recycling efforts many are striving for statewide,” said Dan Papineau, director of government relations.
Containers covered under the bottle deposit law make up about 2% of all recyclable material yet the backbone of our state’s recycling initiatives are based off this failed policy which was only enacted in 1976 to fight against litter, not actually to help recycling efforts. “This failed policy has given Michigan the stigma of having the worst overall recycling rate in the great lakes region,” said Arabo.
Michigan’s recycling policies are overdue for dramatic change because most people think they are doing their part when they return bottles and cans to the local retailer, but that is only 2% of the overall recycling universe and without enough courage to correct the inherent flaws of our State’s bottle deposit law this will never happen. Unfortunately, many special interests in Lansing do not want to correct this flaws bottle bill system because they make a lot of money from it.
“Everyone wants Michigan to be a leader when it comes to recycling, after all we pride ourselves on our state’s beauty, we are Pure Michigan, but in order for this to happen everyone must work together to come up with the best and most cost effective comprehensive program,” said Arabo.
Media Contact: Vanessa Denha Garmo, 248.830.8605 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kris Harris, 248. 702.8687 or Kris@denhamedia.com
Established in 1910, MIRA is Michigan-based trade association representing thousands of Food and Beverage retailers in the Midwest mainly Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.