Maine’s Beverage Container Redemption Program (Bottle Bill)

In 2015, the Maine Legislature passed Public Law Chapter 166 "An Act to Promote Recycling Program Integration and Efficiencies" which transferred administration of the Returnable Beverage Container, a.k.a. "the Bottle Bill" program to the Department of Environmental Protection. DEP is now responsible for licensing and renewals of redemption centers, registration of beverage container labels, and questions on initiator of deposit or contracted agent. For more information, please contact Scott Wilson (207) 446-1187.

The Maine “Bottle Bill” program began in 1978. Over the years, the bottle bill has evolved into a successful recycling program for glass, metal, and plastic beverage containers which reduces litter, conserves resources, and saves energy. The program now includes:

  • a 15¢ refundable deposit on spirits and wine beverage containers, and
  • a 5¢ refundable deposit on beer, hard cider, wine coolers, soda, or noncarbonated water beverage containers, and alcoholic or noncarbonated drinks sold in the State.
Chart of Ozone Design Value.

Beverages that are NOT covered under the Bottle Bill:

  • Milk, dairy-derived products
  • Maine-produced apple cider and blueberry juice
  • Seafood, meat or vegetable broths or soups
  • Instant drink powders
  • Products designed to be consumed in a frozen state
  • Liquid syrups, concentrates or extracts

How it works:

Under Maine’s beverage container redemption program, manufacturers, distributors or sellers of bottled/canned beverages begin the process collecting the appropriate deposit fee (five cents or fifteen cents) for every beverage container subject to this program which is sold in the State. Beverage retailers pass this cost onto the consumer at time of purchase by charging that  deposit fee. This deposit encourages consumers to return their containers to a redemption center to reclaim their deposit. The initiators of deposit (or those working on their behalf) collect the containers from the redemption center and pay them for the deposit fee which the redemption center has already paid to the customer, plus a ‘per container’ handling fee, and recycle the collected containers.




Additional Information

  • Returnable Container Registration List (Excel) Check this list to confirm beverage products with registered container labels to allow for sales in Maine.
    [This file is updated each weekday to reflect new registrations that have been entered. Please allow sufficient time to download.]

Other Related Links

Nonalcoholic Beverage Plant License Application (use Food & Fuel License Application)

Initiator of Deposit Tax Return Forms and Instructions - Maine Revenue Services

A complete listing of liquor licensing laws - Maine Legislature

Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery website