Mandatory Deposits on Beverage Containers

From coast to coast, federal and state lawmakers are examining a variety of legislative proposals to achieve our nation's solid waste management goals. While many voluntary programs are working, another approach - under consideration in Congress since 1972 - calls for a national forced deposit system on soda, wine cooler and beer containers sold in the U.S.

America's brewers are proven leaders in the country's effort to protect the environment. The U.S. brewers created the successful Pitch In! litter campaign of the 1970s, and now the industry promotes the recycling of millions of glass and aluminum beer containers. With this experience in mind, the brewers oppose a national forced deposit law because it will impose a costly, unrealistic burden on American government, industry and consumers - and it won't solve our nation's growing solid waste problem.

The brewers - along with most Americans - prefer a comprehensive solution which deals effectively with this complex public challenge, rather than a forced deposit law that narrowly targets less than 3 percent of the nation's solid waste. Consider the following:

For decades, the nation's brewers have taken the lead in improving our environment and reducing solid waste. In fact, we are the largest recyclers of aluminum cans in the world. This has been accomplished through source reduction, recycling containers, and by developing ways to recycle many of the by-products of the brewing process. Along with beer wholesalers, retailers and others, we support curbside recycling programs in cities and communities across America. These efforts are aided by over 20 percent of American households in over 6,800 communities who participate in voluntary programs.

American's brewers urge Congress to reject mandatory deposit legislation and to support an integrated, comprehensive and realistic approach to managing solid waste, one that builds on our past achievements.