Bottle Bill

Vermont’s Beverage Container and Redemption Law

Why does Vermont have a beverage container law?

Vermont’s Beverage Container Law ("bottle bill") started out as a litter law as a way to clean up Vermont’s roadsides.  Over the years, the Bottle Bill has evolved into a successful recycling program.

What beverages ARE covered under the Bottle Bill Law?

Liquor and spirits 
Beer, wine coolers, and other malt beverages 
Soft drinks and other carbonated beverages 

What beverages ARE NOT covered under the Bottle Bill Law?

Wine and hard cider 
Water, milk, juice, sports drinks, and other non-carbonated beverages

Where can I bring my empty containers for redemption?

Consumers may bring any empty container that carries the Vermont refund message and is sold in Vermont to a Certified Redemption Center. See Vermont’s List of Certified Redemption Centers.  All other retailers and redemption centers not listed on this list are only required to take back empties for the products they sell.

How does the system work when I return a container to a retailer or redemption center?

The retailers and redemption centers play a key role in making the system work by receiving, refunding, and handling the empty containers for the consumers. See How the Money Flows: What Happens to a 5 Cent Bottle Deposit (11KB PDF). The distributors or a third-party agent acting on behalf of the distributors then picks up the empty containers from the retailers and redemption centers and recycles the collected glass, aluminum, and plastic materials.

Agency of Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Conservation
Waste Management and Prevention Division

Davis Building - 1st Floor
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05620-3704