On August 5, 2019, RePlanet, once the largest operator of California redemption centres for beverage containers covered by the state’s deposit-refund system, closed its doors. The company, which had already closed hundreds of redemption centres in recent years, confirmed two weeks ago that it has closed all of its remaining 284 recycling centers and terminated its entire workforce throughout California.
In response to the closure, the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) released a news release saying “the solution to California’s bottle recycling crisis requires two approaches: 1) a significant overhaul of the current system, and 2) specific immediate actions by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). At a minimum, CRI proposes the following structural changes to the container deposit system:
- An expansion of the system to also accept wine and spirit containers;
- An increase in the container deposit from 5- to 10-cents; and
- Predictable and sufficient funding for redemption centres.
The organization also called for CalRecycle to prioritize enforcement of the “return to retail” commitment of the 1,000+ beverage retailers that have pledged to accept back empty containers and provide refunds to consumers; and to instruct beverage retailers that are currently not return-to-retail sites to place signage directing consumers to the nearest location for redeeming containers.
For more details and to read the full press release, click here. You can also contact Susan Collins, CRI Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org