California’s current bottle bill has seen a steady decline in recycling rates over the last decade, from 85% to 75%. The low, 5 cents, deposit level on most containers, and continued closure of recycling centers have driven down the deposit return system performance and resulted in more beverage containers being sent to landfill.

This report, for Changing Markets Foundation, calculates some of the social and environmental benefits that have been derived from the program to date and the additional benefits that could be gained if it were redesigned to drive the recycling rate to 96% – the minimum redemption rate that best-in-class programs achieve, e.g. in Germany.

The ‘Benefits Summary’ presents calculations of benefits already achieved, and achievable with a more ambitious recycling rate, related to:

  • Avoided waste to landfill
  • Avoided total litter
  • Avoided marine litter
  • GHG Savings
  • Material value loss
  • Job creation

The report also presents detailed information related to:

  • The breakdown of recycled, disposed and littered containers by ton
  • The methods of collection i.e. recycling center or curbside
  • Container volumes disposed in landfill
  • Material value loss as a result of landfill
  • Recycling Center closures and the associated landfill projections
  •  The increase in GHG as a result of manufacturing from virgin material rather than recycling
  •  Containers arriving in the marine environment

This report is available free of charge. Please provide a few details about yourself and one of the team will email you the full report shortly.