Michigan Beverage Industry FAQ

Health

What can be done to help combat childhood obesity?

First, the good news: obesity among Michigan children between the ages of 10-17 declined 1.6% in 2020 to 15.7%, 17% lower than in 2018 (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). We must continue teaching and offering our children how to incorporate different foods and beverages into a balanced diet and to develop an active lifestyle. These are the most important lessons we can teach children that will have a lasting impact on health and wellness. Michigan’s beverage companies offer more beverages than ever that can contribute to good health, such as bottled waters, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and no- and low-calorie soft drinks.

What beverages are good choices for hydration purposes?

Most beverages will help hydrate the body and contribute to wellness. Our members offer many different choices for consumers including bottled water, teas, 100% juices, low and no calorie sports and soft drinks and dairy-based beverage options. Again, many of these are made right here in Michigan.

What is MSDA’s role with Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan?

The MSDA is a charter member of HKHM and works on a regular basis with numerous nonprofits organizations to find ways to increase access to healthy foods and encourage physical activity for Michigan’s youth.  This includes advocating for health and PE classes, making it easier for more to access fruits and vegetables through our SNAP program, and incorporate healthier local food in school lunches.

Deposit Law

What's better? Deposits or comprehensive recycling?

Michigan’s 15 percent recycling rate lags far behind our neighboring Great Lakes states, none of which have a deposit law. Recycling programs in these states are able to collect and then sell the most valuable material–aluminum cans–that the deposit law pulls out of our recycling carts in Michigan. It has been demonstrated across the nation that comprehensive recycling programs will recycle much more material at a much lower cost per ton than a bottle deposit law.

Polling shows that more than 80 percent of the public supports the development of a statewide comprehensive recycling program, which would create up to 13,000 new jobs in Michigan and annually reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 400,000 vehicles off the road. Michigan’s soft drink companies have invested more than $1.5 million into community recycling efforts across the state over the past two years, with matching funds from the State of Michigan.

Should we expand the deposit?

Expanding Michigan’s container deposit law to cover non-carbonated beverages such as water, tea, and juices would likely increase the state’s overall recycling rate by only 2-3 percent–leaving us woefully short of our recycling goal and surrounding states with even less valuable material in carts. A statewide program aimed at recycling all materials would recycle 10 times more at half the cost to Michigan citizens as compared to expanding the deposit law to non-carbonated beverages.

Research places the net cost of recycling through comprehensive community curbside and drop-off programs at $100 to $150 per ton (before factoring in the savings generated from reduced trash collection and disposal costs). Deposit programs on carbonated beverages cost $400 to $700 per ton to recycle.

Because the implementation of Michigan’s deposit law is industry financed, its cost to the public is hidden in the overall price of the product. Even so, the public ends up paying the price for state mandated deposits. In Michigan, for example, one pays about 5 cents more per beverage with a deposit than in our neighboring non-deposit states. That adds up to a real out-of-pocket cost to our Michigan citizens in the range of $200 million per year. If the law were changed to include non-carbonated beverages, the cost to the Michigan consumer would increase by about another $60 to $80 million per year.

Is a deposit law the best policy to combat littering?

Michigan’s deposit law reduced beverage litter by 88 percent, but had no impact on other litter. A comprehensive statewide program that addresses all litter, instead of just the 7 percent of litter represented by beverage containers, will reduce roadside litter by a much greater amount, and at a far smaller cost to the public, than mandating beverage container deposits. National research has shown that when comprehensive litter programs operate for more than five years, the roads are 40 percent cleaner than in deposit states.

Litter control programs typically implement both a preventative and a clean-up approach. Even if expansion of Michigan’s deposit law to non-carbonated beverages were to eliminate all such containers from roadside litter, almost 94 percent of the litter would still be there.

Retailers

What are retailer’s obligations under the deposit law?

MSDA provides documentation on redemption best practices for stores without reverse vending machines, stores with reverse vending machines that are not on third party pick-up. Learn more about dealer rights and responsibilities under the Michigan Beverage Container law. Download best practices.

Download Best Practices