Ten U.S. states have beverage container redemption laws, more commonly referred to as "bottle bills." Recent bottle bill changes in California and Oregon will soon impact the alcohol industry through the addition of canned wine in Oregon and the addition of wine and spirits in any type of container in California.
Effective January 1, 2024, wine and spirits in any container type (bottle, can, bag in box, pouch) will be added to the California bottle bill as a result of the passage of California SB 1013 in 2022. California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery ("CalRecycle") oversees and administers the California bottle bill. Here are some key ways the California bottle bill will apply to wine and spirits:
- Containers < 24 ounces have a 5-cent deposit.
- Containers ≥ 24 ounces (e.g., 750 ml bottles) have a 10-cent deposit.
- Wine or spirits in a box, bladder, or similar type container will have a 25-cent deposit, regardless of volume.
Labeling: Effective July 1, 2025, redemption value labeling (e.g., "CA CRV," "CA Refund Value," etc.) must be added to redeemable containers of wine and spirits. Wine and spirits containers cannot be labeled before January 1, 2024, so there is an 18-month phase-in period to add redemption values to wine or spirits containers. The California redemption value must be etched into the tops of metal cans and placed on the side label for glass or other containers. Redemption value labeling for boxed wine has not yet been determined as of July 2023. In all cases, California laws require that the redemption value be "clear, prominent, and indelibly marked" on the beverage container. See this CRV labeling link for specific container placement and type size requirements.
- Beverage manufacturers in and outside of California have registration, reporting, and processing fee payment responsibilities. A beverage manufacturer is any entity who:
(1) bottles, cans, or fills beverage containers in California (this includes co-packers and mobile bottlers*);
(2) imports beverages into California for sale to distributors, dealers, or consumers;
(3) holds a beer or malt beverage Certificate of Compliance with CA ABC;
(4) is an out-of-state entity holding a Wine Direct Shippers Permit.
*Some duties can be assigned to other appointed entities with notice and approval by CalRecycle.
- Registration: An out-of-state winery holding a Wine Direct Shippers permit with CA ABC who sells wine directly to California consumers must register as a beverage manufacturer and distributor for wine shipped to consumers. The registration form is here. Out-of-state wineries and distilleries shipping only to California importers do not need to register with CalRecycle and will not owe processing fees. The importer is deemed the beverage manufacturer responsible for processing fees on those products.
- Processing fees: Processing fees apply to bottle bill applicable beverages sold or transferred in California and must be paid by the beverage manufacturer. These fees help offset the cost of recycling the containers. Processing fees are set annually and depend on container type. In 2023, processing fees are $0.00452 per each redeemable glass container sold in California, regardless of size. Aluminum cans currently have no processing fees because the scrap value of aluminum is so high. Processing fees for wine or spirits in a box will be equivalent to the processing fees applied to HDPE beverage containers, which in 2023 is $0.00762 per container.
- Distributor: A business that sells bottle bill applicable beverage containers directly to retailers and/or consumers is classified as a distributor under the California bottle bill. This includes Wine Direct Shipper permittees who sell and ship directly to California consumers. Distributors register with CalRecycle, initiate deposits upon sales of beverage containers to retailers or consumers, remit those deposits to CalRecycle (minus a 1.5% administrative fee), submit reports, and keep records of all sales activity.
- Dealer: SB 1013 exempts California winery and distillery tasting rooms from dealer redemption or "take back" requirements of empty beverage containers. However, California wineries and distilleries must still charge and remit the California redemption value on all sealed to-go containers sold from their tasting rooms or via direct shipments.
**CalRecycle is strongly encouraging Wine Direct Shipper permittees and California wineries and distilleries to register with CalRecycle as beverage manufacturers and distributors soon as possible to help avoid a bottleneck in the system when wine and spirits are added to the California bottle bill on Jan. 1, 2024. For more information on California's bottle bill, including links to registration forms and full details on the responsibilities of beverage manufacturers and distributors, see CalRecycle's Distributor and Manufacturer webpage.
Effective July 1, 2025, wine in cans will be added in the Oregon bottle bill as a result of the passage of Oregon SB 1520 in the 2022 legislature. Wine in other containers that are not subject to the Oregon bottle bill (e.g., glass bottles or bag-in-box), as well as tertiary packaging such as case boxes, may become subject to new producer responsibility requirements under SB 582, also beginning July 1, 2025. Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is the agency that oversees the Oregon bottle bill. Here are some key ways the Oregon bottle bill will apply to canned wine:
Redemption Value: The Oregon redemption value is 10 cents for all bottle bill applicable beverage containers, regardless of container size.
- Effective October 1, 2026, canned wine in any volume must have Oregon redemption value labeling ("OR 10¢" or "Oregon 10¢"). However, cans of wine may have Oregon redemption value added any time after July 1, 2025.
- The redemption value must be clearly indicated on each bottle bill applicable beverage container, but there are no requirements as to specific placement on a container.
- Registration: Bottle bill beverage containers sold in Oregon must be registered with the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), a beverage distributor cooperative, that maintains a list of all such beverages.
- Distributor: Wineries that sell and distribute bottle bill applicable beverage containers directly to retailers are classified as "distributors" under the Oregon bottle bill and have redemption, pickup, and recycling requirements, and are required to either pay an annual fee to the OLCC or register and become a member of OBRC. Distributors who are not members of OBRC must report sales to the OLCC.
- The annual OLCC fee for non-OBRC members depends on the number of containers sold in Oregon. See OLCC distributor guidance for additional details.
- OBRC registration will require membership dues and other fees which depend upon container type and sales volume.
- Dealer: Dealers are any entity that sells redeemable beverage containers to consumers, or any redemption center. Wineries that sell sealed bottle bill applicable beverage containers directly to consumers, including via direct shipping and in-person to-go sales from an Oregon winery's tasting room, are classified as "dealers." Dealers are not mandated by law to charge a deposit when selling beverage containers to consumers but typically do so because dealers in Oregon are required to take back empty containers and give consumers 10 cents for every container redeemed. The number and kinds of empty beverage containers a dealer must take back depends on several factors, including the types and kinds of beverages sold by the dealer, the size of the dealer's retail space, and the dealer's proximity to nearby redemption centers. See OLCC dealer guidance for specific details.
Adding redemption value labeling to a wine, beer or spirits label that has a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) from the TTB is an allowable revision and does not require a new COLA.