Week 14 Update: Bottle Bill

April 14, 2022

The Iowa Senate passed this bill two weeks ago, but on Tuesday, the House passed a strikeafter amendment to SF 2378 and ultimately approved the legislation 73-17. This means that the amended version of this bill is back in the court of the Senate. The bill the House approved adds high alcoholic content beer and canned cocktails to the definition of “beverage” in Iowa code. It also raises the handling fee distributors pay redemption centers from one cent to three cents, and also includes retailers. The five-cent refund must be returned to the consumer by the retailer or redemption centers within a reasonable time not beyond 10 days. 

The legislation contains provisions to allow retailers to refuse to accept and to pay the refund value of any empty beverage container if: (1) the retailer holds a food establishment license to prepare or serve food, has a certified food production manager, and sells time/temperature control for safety food; (2) the retailer has entered into an agreement with an approved redemption center for a mobile redemption system and:

  • The retailer provides the space, utilities, and internet connection for the mobile redemption system;
  • The agreement does not require additional payments to the retailer or the mobile redemption system; and
  • The retailer is located in a county with more than 30,000 residents and within 10 miles of an approved redemption center, or is in a county with fewer than 30,000 people and within 15 miles of an approved redemption center.

The provision allowing retailers to refuse to accept beverage containers takes effect upon enactment. Retailers who refuse to accept and to pay the refund value must display a notice on their front door that states that they do not accept empty beverage containers and must provide information of the nearest approved redemption center. Once the state’s Department of Revenue creates a way to search approved redemption centers electronically, retailers can point consumers to that resource. You can find the fiscal note here. ABI is registered as neutral.