Bottle Bill Reprieve for Retailers Extended

27 Mar 2020

Agency Continuing Halt of Enforcement of Redemption Requirements until April 30

Portland, OR -- The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will extend its non-enforcement posture with Oregon retailers that choose not to accept empty beverage containers for redemption because of continuing pandemic-related staffing concerns for grocers and supermarkets. The enforcement suspension will now stay in effect until April 30, 2020; if stores don’t take back empty beverage containers during the temporary period the OLCC will not issue them a notice of violation.

The temporary period of non-enforcement began March 15 at a time when grocers and supermarkets were overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of customers attempting to purchase provisions so they could stay home to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The temporary suspension was set to expire March 31, but the OLCC will extend it amid continuation of these concerns, and because of other challenges faced by grocers and supermarkets such as the lack of cleaning supplies and requirements to meet social distancing directives.

There is no mandate that retailers close or refuse containers. If retailers choose to do so during this temporary period of non-enforcement, they will not be penalized. What remains the same is that eligible beverage containers in Oregon are still worth 10 cents, even if stores choose not to accept container returns at this time. A deposit may still be assessed on the purchase of all eligible beverage containers.

BottleDrop redemption centers, operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) will remain open. OBRC will also continue to operate BottleDrop Express drop sites, and Dealer Redemption Centers. The OLCC will continue to monitor the effects of this action and the impact on the grocery industry, and advises that because not all communities have redemption centers, to please safely store bottles and cans until redemption services fully resume.

The agency has revised its information flyer (also available in Spanish) that provides details to locate all redemption center locations, as well as the new date for the temporary period to end. The OLCC recognizes this is an inconvenience, and is asking for the cooperation of all citizens through the duration of this temporary action.

For additional information, contact:

Matthew Van Sickle at 503-872-5002
Alcohol Program Public Affairs