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All Michigan bottle return facilities ordered to reopen immediately

The only remaining restrictions are orders for masks, social distancing and capacity limits
 Bottle return facilities in Michigan will begin reopening on June 15.
Bottle return facilities in Michigan will begin reopening on June 15. (WJRT)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - All Michigan retailers that accept bottle returns are required to reopen their facilities immediately.

The Michigan Department of Treasury removed the final restrictions from the state’s 10-cent bottle return program on Thursday. That means all grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations that accept bottle returns must open their facilities regardless of their facilities.

The only mandated restrictions remaining on bottle returns are the same Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders regarding face masks, social distancing and capacity limits in place for all retailers.

However, retailers can voluntarily place the following restrictions on bottle return facilities:

  • A $25 daily limit on returns per person.
  • Special or limited hours to accept bottle returns.
  • Limit the number of bottle return machines in operation.
  • Close bottle return facilities temporarily for cleaning.

All Michigan bottle return facilities closed for three months from March to June due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department estimates consumers accumulated $80 million worth of 10-cent bottle deposits during that time.

Bottle return facilities in stores with a physical separation were allowed to reopen on June 15 and all facilities with bottle return machines were allowed to reopen Oct. 5. Thursday’s order covers any remaining retailers with a staff member collecting bottle returns and any stores that hadn’t reopened their facilities yet.

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