The state's new bottle law takes effect today. Caring consumers, thrifty shoppers and enterprising children can redeem beer and soft-drink containers for at least a penny refund per bottle or can at convenient recycling centers--including new depots set up at 500 supermarkets. Returning the empties may take a few extra minutes, but it is well worth the effort.
Californians are a thirsty group. We drink roughly 12 billion beers and sodas a year. Properly disposed of, the cans and bottles clog landfills that aren't getting any bigger. Tossed carelessly away, the containers clutter our beaches, parks and roads.
The new law applies to carbonated beverages like beer, soda, sparkling water and fizzy juices. Hard liquor, wine and wine coolers are not covered. Consumers automatically collect a penny per container and, at some larger centers, the scrap value of the can or bottle. Recycling just got more profitable.
The law also requires large supermarkets to identify a recycling center within a half-mile of the store. At least 2,000 stores are expected to phase in reverse vending machines or collection points within the next three months to comply and to keep customers from taking their business to competitors.