VG's, Family Fare stores reopening bottle return facilities with restrictions

 Bottle return facilities in Michigan will begin reopening on June 15.
Bottle return facilities in Michigan will begin reopening on June 15. (WJRT)
Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 1:43 PM EDT
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(6/12/2020) - All VG's stores and some Family Fare supermarkets are reopening their bottle return facilities on Monday like most Michigan grocery stores.

All VG's grocery stores in Caro, Clio, Davison, Fenton, Genesee and Owosso are reopening bottle return Monday, along with Family Fare locations in Gladwin, Houghton Lake, Midland and West Branch.

Only stores with separate bottle return areas at the front are allowed to reopen. So Family Fare stores in Mio, Oscoda, Roscommon, Rose City and Standish are waiting to reopen bottle return.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prohibited bottle returns statewide on March 24, as coronavirus began spreading widely through Michigan. The Michigan Department of Treasury announced the June 15 phased-in reopening.

SpartanNash-owned stores will only allow one person in the bottle return area at a time to provide adequate social distancing, so company officials expect long lines.

“We ask that customers wait to bring back their cans if possible, as we believe the demand to return cans and bottles is high, which may result in long lines at the beginning of implementation of the Governor’s phased reopening plan,” SpartanNash Executive Vice President and General Manager of Corporate Retail Tom Swanson said.

Like most retailers, SpartanNash-owned stores are limiting customers to $25 worth of bottle returns per day -- or 250 redeemable beverage containers. Bottle return machines are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The machines will be turned off early if their bins are filled to capacity.

“Many of our customers have been saving their cans and bottles for the past several months, and we are ready to reopen our bottle return areas in a way that ensures the safety of our store guests and associates," Swanson said.