A new extension to Oregon’s Bottle Bill just went into effect at the beginning of the year and this one will hit craft breweries and taprooms. Crowlers, the single use sealed beverage container, now has a redemption value for the very first time at the state’s deposit/redemption price of 10¢ per container.
The Oregon Bottle Bill dates back over 50 years when the state of Oregon wanted to find a solution to litter and bring awareness to recycling. It was implemented on October 1, 1972 with a deposit/redemption of 5¢ per container.
This new 10¢ redemption only applies to crowlers and not re-usable growlers since crowlers are single use sealed containers that are normally filled with beer or other malt beverages, but some businesses are offering kombucha, tea, hard cider, CBD drinks, seltzers and even root beer. Only crowlers containing the above-mentioned beverage types will carry the 10¢ redemption value.
The Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission has issued this clarification due to the increase in crowler popularity, and their increased presence in the redemption stream.
Unfortunately many craft brewers use vinyl sticker label wraps on its crowlers. Similar to the same wraps on many 12oz, 16oz, and 19.2oz cans in the industry. These wraps make these cans un-recyclable here in Oregon when redeemed for their 10¢ redemption value. If you remove the labels, the UPC is also removed, therefore the can loses its redemption value. If these plastic wrapped or vinyl sticker labels are not removed before being sent to recycling, there’s a strong chance that the can will end up in a landfill.
The following crowler fact sheet can provide further clarification.
WHAT IS A “CROWLER”?
A crowler is a large metal container, usually holding 32 fluid ounces, which can be filled and then sealed.
WHAT’S GOING ON? Beginning January 1, 2023 crowlers will have a redemption value, currently at 10¢, since they are sealed containers. The OLCC is issuing this clarification due to the rise in crowler popularity, and their increased presence in the redemption stream.
WHY DON’T GROWLERS HAVE A REDEMPTION VALUE?
Growlers are refillable containers with a removable lid and are not factory sealed so they do not fall under the bottle bill.
WHAT BEVERAGE TYPES IN CROWLERS HAVE A REDEMPTION VALUE?
Crowlers are commonly filled with beer or other malt beverages, but some businesses are offering kombucha, tea, hard cider, CBD drinks, seltzers and even root beer.
Please visit the OLCC Bottle Bill website to see which beverage types and sizes that are included and which beverage types are not included*.
WHAT ARE THE LABELING REQUIREMENTS?
All redeemable containers must be clearly marked with OR 10¢ to legally be offered for sale in Oregon. There are no font, size, or style requirements and the OR 10¢ mark can be placed anywhere on the label or container except it cannot be placed on a removable lid. If a sticker is used to include this information on a container, the sticker must be firmly affixed to the container.
The lids of many crowler cans already in use come pre-etched with OR 10¢, so this change will help provide consistency for employees and consumers on the redemption status of crowlers.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.