Bill Would Exempt Booze in Pouches from Bottle Deposit Law

May 23, 2012

There’s a debate underway in Lansing on whether to extend the 10-cent bottle deposit to alcoholic beverages sold in pouches.

The state Treasury says the deposit law applies to drinks in pouches.  

A state House bill would preempt applying the new-but-common drink packaging –pouches made of a composite of plastic, aluminum, and paper. The pouches are not recyclable or bio-degradable.

The deposit law was approved by voters 36 years ago and changing requires super-majorities in the House and the Senate. Cyndi Roper is with the environmental group Clean Water Action. She says the law has worked with bottles and cans, and should apply to booze in pouches.

“If we’re going to get excited about some kind of a package, it should be that’s recyclable, it should be something that can be put back in the material stream instead of something that’s going to fill our landfills,” she says.

Retailers say they’d be saddled with huge costs. They don’t have equipment to process pouches -- and, since they can’t be re-used or recycled, taking them back serves no purpose.