State lawmakers will look at changing the bottle bill once again in 2022

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - State lawmakers will likely look at changing the bottle bill, once again in the 2022 legislative session. The bill, which has been law, for around 40 years has created problems for a number of different groups.

Lawmakers have tried to reform the bill multiple times, but no changes have been implemented yet. Redemption centers have said they don’t make enough money off a penny handling fee. While grocery stores have sanitary concerns over redemption locations being inside stores.

Distributors charge retailers like Hy-Vee an additional 5 cents for each container they deliver. In turn, retailers and redemption centers collect empty containers and refund the 5-cent deposits back to consumers. The businesses return the empties back to the distributors for 6 cents apiece, and keep the extra penny as a handling fee.

Can Shed and other bottle redemption centers faced added stress and strain to process bottles and cans during the pandemic. Then, state officials gave grocery stores the ability to temporarily stop taking bottles and cans at the onset of the pandemic. So, more people wanting to get their nickel back had to go to redemption centers.

Statehouse Speaker Pat Grassley said he’s hopeful this could be the year for changes to the state’s bottle bill.

”I will never guarantee on the Bottle Bill that anything will be done with it,” he said. “However, I think we’ve been making more progress on it than years in the past.”

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