Josie Taylor | March 31, 2022
Under a bill that was approved Tuesday by the Iowa Senate retailers would be allowed to opt out of accepting bottle and can returns starting in 2023. Redemption centers would get a raise, and beverage wholesalers would continue to keep unredeemed deposits.
Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, floor manager of Senate File 2378, said it was “an attempt to save the bottle bill.” Democrats who opposed the legislation said it would do the opposite.
The bill increases the handling fee for redemption centers from 1 cent to 3 cents per container. Retailers that continue to accept containers will continue to receive a penny per container.
One of the main points of disagreement between the two sides is whether the increased handling fee will be enough to encourage new or expanded redemption centers to open. If retailers opt out of the program, more redemption centers will be needed so consumers can return their containers and collect their 5-cent deposit.
The bill passed with a vote of 31-18. Now it will move to the House, which is considering a separate bill that allows some retailers – grocers and some others – to opt out of accepting container returns.