Soon That Bottle of Kefir or Milk-Based Smoothie Will Be Redeemable

Starting in the New Year, Oregonians will have a slightly expanded menu of redeemable product types eligible for redemption. The seven-member panel of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved updates to the Bottle Bill through a technical rules package Thursday. The approved changes represent a combination of updates made during the legislative session and as well as from Commission action.

Rule changes are effective Jan. 1, 2020 and include the addition under the Bottle Bill of the following beverages in sizes from 4 oz up to and including 1.5 liters:

  • Kefir, drinkable yogurt, milk-based smoothies and other beverages that are primarily milk or plant-based milk but include other ingredients such as fruit (milk and plant-based milks are still exempt)

Other changes that were adopted based on action within the Oregon Legislature included:

  • Addition of kombucha and hard seltzer beverages in container sizes 3 liters or less (SB 247)
  • Requirement for redemption centers to register annually with the OLCC and pay a $3000 fee for each center. Proceeds from this fee will go to support costs of the program (SB 247)
  • Requirement for beverage distributers to report sales and return data to the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (SB 914)

Milk-based beverages, oral electrolyte replacements, kombucha and hard seltzer drink containers will have until January 2021 to label containers with OR 10c. Oral electrolyte replacements, kombucha and hard seltzers already have a 10-cent refund value and milk-based beverages are redeemable as of Jan. 1, 2020. These beverages may be sold or offered for sale in Oregon regardless of the refund value or lack of refund value indicated on the containers.

The Commission also took action to approve rulemaking for distinguishing between “full-service redemption centers” and “dealer redemption centers” and creates standards for dealer redemption centers (SB 93).

Action on this technical rules package began earlier this year through the 2019 Oregon Legislative session. Additionally, the Commission convened a rules advisory committee in October, held a public hearing in November and held an open comment period from November 1 through November 22 to solicit feedback from impacted stakeholders on the action to amend Division 20, the rules that pertain to the Bottle Bill.