Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer and Newman attempt to bring an entire postal truck full of bottles and cans to Michigan to redeem them for 10 cents each and make a small fortune? Even back in 1996, they knew our state had a hell of a deal with our bottle return policy.



However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, bottle return rates have plummeted from the near-90% return rate before 2020 to 73% in 2023, causing Michiganders to miss out on nearly $100 million a year in bottle deposit refunds. That's why the "Take 'em Back" Campaign is trying to get your dimes back in your pocket.


recycle aluminum metal crushed can waste background


The campaign is about much more than just getting your 10 cents, it's also about keeping our state clean and collecting cans to recycle into more cans. The campaign states that nearly 100% of the containers returned are used to make new bottles and cans.


Since the law came into effect back in 1978, Michigan has seen 50% less litter throughout the state. So returning your bottles and cans helps you AND Mother Nature.

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash
Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash


If you're looking to return all those cans you've accumulated over the years and are just taking up space in your garage, you can return the cans to most stores. By law, stores are required to accept containers they sell, so it's best to return them wherever you bought them.


If your store won't take clean, clearly labeled, cans sold by the store you should reach out to the Michigan Department of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division (1-877-765-8388).


Bottle Return "Take 'Em Back"


Go out there and return those cans. Do your part and help keep the state clean in the process.


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