Bill Seeks to Implement 5 Cent Uniform Deposit on All Returnable Containers

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Lawmakers in Augusta are considering implementing a five-cent uniform refund value for all returnable beverage containers.

That means the deposit on spirits and wine bottles would be lowered from 15 cents to 5 cents.

The bill aims to create a level playing field with other states while keeping more money in the pockets of consumers.

Proponents believe equalizing returnables would eliminate confusion and simplify the process.

But environmental groups, like the Natural Resources Council of Maine, oppose the measure.

They say it could lead to more pollution and take money away from redemption centers and charities that rely on deposit donations.

"If it were to pass, evidence from other states suggest that it would significantly reduce the incentive to return the containers through the redemption program, which is a huge problem," said Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Project Director, NRCM.

The bill is endorsed by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

Last year, the legislature voted to add a five-cent deposit on 'nips' to the bottle redemption program.