The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) President Scott DeFife released the following statement on the reopening of select bottle rooms in Michigan starting June 15: “The GPI is pleased by the Michigan Department of Treasury’s decision to reopen Michigan’s bottle rooms in all grocery stores, supermarkets and other retailers with reverse vending machines (RVMs). There are several plants in the Midwest that use the clean quality material from Michigan to make new food and beverage containers.
“The closure of the bottle rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected recycling efforts across the state. As of last week, an estimated $60,000,000 worth of bottles and cans were left unredeemed in Michigan homes. Reopening bottle rooms with RVMs at the front of stores – while maintaining all social distance requirements – will help alleviate the burden on Michigan homes and benefit the hurting local and regional food and beverage supply-chain that relies on those redeemed bottles and cans for packaging needs.
“Bottle bill states provide glass manufacturers with up to 80% of recycled material that is turned back into new glass jars, bottles and containers. The nine other bottle bill states have allowed redemption to continue, and Michigan should be able to reopen their bottle rooms in a manner such that residents can recycle their bottles and cans, get their value back and continue to benefit from glass recovery and recycling.”