With the signing of Senate Bill 1013 (Atkins, D-San Diego) earlier this week, California significantly expanded the state’s beverage container recycling (bottle bill) program to include wine and distilled spirits.   

For decades, the state’s bottle bill program has required consumers to pay a deposit (currently $0.05 or $0.10 per container) on many types of beverages, including soda, water, juice, and beer.  Wine and distilled spirits have long been excluded from that deposit system - largely because of resistance by the wine and distilled spirits industries. 

The passage of Senate Bill 54 (Allen, D-Santa Monica) earlier this year changed that dynamic.  Under SB 54, single use packaging manufacturers will have to comply with new source reduction, recycled content, and end-of-life management of their products; however, SB 54 exempts single-use packaging subject to the state’s bottle bill law.  This means that adding wine and distilled spirits to the state’s bottle bill program will enable those manufacturers to avoid regulatory obligations under the newer SB 54. 

Under Senate Bill 1013, the deposit for wine and distilled spirits will be $0.05 for containers under 24 ounces, $0.10 for containers over 24 ounces, and $0.25 for wine or distilled spirits contained in a box, bladder, or pouch.  These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2024. 

The bill also makes changes to retailer take-back obligations by allowing dealers to either take containers back in the store or form a dealer cooperative to arrange for the collection of beverage containers for recycling.  This effectively does away with the existing option for dealers to pay a $100/day in-lieu payment to CalRecycle, and should increase the number of real redemption opportunities for consumers.  Furthermore, adding wine and distilled spirits to the program will increase the amount of revenue coming into the program, which will provide additional financial support to recycling centers.   

Finally, the bill contains significant funding to increase glass recycling and the quality of recycled materials. 

SB 1013 was supported by the Rural Counties Environmental Services Joint Powers Authority (ESJPA). ESJPA’s letter of support can be found here

For more information, contact RCRC Policy Advocate John Kennedy