Richardville bill will help stop bottle deposit fraud
LANSING - The Senate approved legislation Thursday that will better regulate and control illegal bottle returns, said Sen. Randy Richardville, one of the sponsors of the measures.
The bipartisan, bicameral package will require reverse vending machines to be retrofitted with new technology to prevent out-of-state bottles and cans from being returned in Michigan for the 10-cent deposit.
“This legislation is designed to prevent bottles and cans not purchased in Michigan from being returned here,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “Michigan loses millions of dollars each year from individuals that cross the state border to illegally return bottles.”
Senate Bill 1392, sponsored by Richardville, would increase penalties for fraudulent beverage-container redemptions and establish felonies for repeat offenders.
Other measures in the package would:
- Require unique markings on returnable beverage containers sold in Michigan designating them as Michigan-only;
- Require reverse vending machines used in Michigan to correctly identify and reject non-Michigan beverage containers; and
- Allow small retailers with no reverse vending machine to limit the number of containers returned in a day to 100.
“By approving this legislation, lawmakers are providing additional resources to retailers to reduce fraud,” Richardville said. “It’s an important change that will help Michigan save millions of dollars that can be used for environmental cleanup efforts around the state.”
Illegal bottle returns cost the state $13 million a year. Richardville, whose Senate district borders Ohio, is one of four senators whose districts border other states, where a majority of the illegal bottles are returned.
Senate Bills 1532, 1648, 1392 and 1394 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration and House Bills 5147, 6441 and 6442 head back to the House for concurrence.
Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008
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