Reduce Litter - Increase Recycling

Support Hawaii's Beverage Container Deposit Law

Coordinating a HI5 recycling fundraiser?

The City is offering schools, non-profit organizations and condominiums the use of 96-gallon recycling carts to enhance their recycling efforts and raise extra money. Click here for more information.

The Department of Health has a webpage dedicated to the deposit program. Check it out or call #211 for more information.

Hawaii is the 11th state to establish a beverage container deposit system. The "bottle bill" passed the 2002 Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Ben Cayetano. The deposit system began January 2005, and is expected to increase recycling rates to over 80% and to significantly reduce litter. The 5-cent deposit is applied to all beverages in glass, plastic and metal containers. Milk, wine and spirits are exempt.

Redemption Centers are operational on all islands. Oahu currently has more than 40 redemption centers, with more sites, and convenience, expected this year.

The State Department of Health administers the program and manages the funds. The State, counties and recycling companies are working cooperatively to facilitate redemption centers on all the islands.

The debate over the deposit system is likely to continue. Opponents of the law may continue to press for a repeal during legislative sessions. Postings on this website will keep current with the local and national debate and maintain the history of the work here in Hawaii.

Link to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's "Reduce, Reuse, Refill" web site with information about refillable beverage containers.
Summary of the Law - frequently asked questions
Complete Law Language (link to Hawaii Revised Statutes)
Complete Law Language (PDF version)
Photos and Graphics
Editorial Debate
News Articles/Press Releases
National/World Debate
BEAR Independent Study
County Support
News articles/press releases

Editorial Debate:

"Recycling Program's Flaws Must be Fixed," Honolulu Advertiser editorial, (03/27/05)

"State, City Recycle Programs Meant to Work in Tandem," Honolulu Advertiser Letter-to-the-Editor, (03/24/05)

"Businessman's Recycle Enterprise is Laudatory," Honolulu Advertiser editorial, (03/14/05)

"We All Have to Do Our Part on Recycling," Honolulu Advertiser editorial, (03/01/05)

"Bottle Law Will Work Better as System Evolves," Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial, (02/26/05)>

"Comprehensive Recycling is Within Oahu's Reach," an editorial by Suzanne Jones

"Don't Delay Start of Bottle Bill," an editorial by Rep. Hermina M. Morita

"Bottle Bill Must Be Salvaged," an editorial by Suzanne Jones

"Price of Paradise: The Bottle Bill", an editorial debate by Suzanne Jones and Gary Yoshioka.

Viewpoint: "Re-Profitizing on the Backs of Hawaii's Residents" by Representative Hermina Morita

Viewpoint: "A Perspective on the Opposition" by Suzanne Jones

Viewpoint: "Bottle Bill Tax Bad for Hawaii" by Gary Yoshioka, Pepsi Bottling Group of Hawaii

Viewpoint: "EARTH DAY, Bottle Bill, 30 Years Later" by Jeff Mikulina, Exectuive Director, Sierra Club, Hawai'i Chapter

National/World Debate:

For national and worldwide information on bottle bills and beverage container deposit systems, visit the Container Recycling Institute website at and their bottle bill website,

National Beverage Container Deposit Bill
S.1867 -- the introduced national "bottle bill" (week of 11/09/03)
S.1867 floor statements by Senators Jeffords and Akaka
"National Recycling Legislation Proposed," Honolulu Advertiser, (11/17/03)
Link to an article that appeared in the New York Times.
"National deposit will finally get a chance in Congress," Container Recycling Institute (06/27/02).
Link to the Environment and Public Works Committee hearing held on 7/11/02.
Congresswoman Lynn Rivers introduces companion bill
National Advertisement: "Coke and Pepsi -- Stop Trashing America"

State Beverage Container Deposits Debated
"Connecticut Expands Bottle Bill to Include Bottled Water," Waste & Recycling News, March 4, 2009
Various articles on New York's bottle bill, 06/01/05 - 06/02/05
Sandy Huber, "N.J. law cleans up more than bottles," August 1, 2005 issue of "Waste News"
Pat Franklin, "Proof that container bills work," August 1, 2005 issue of "Waste News"
"Passage of Illinois Bottle Bill Would Make an Even Dozen in U.S," Waste News, (05/09/05)
The Boston Globe editorial (01/17/05), "10 Cents' Worth."
Iowa Recycling Association press release (01/14/05), "Cities, Recyclers Refute Claims of Grocers."
Container Recycling Institute press release (12/30/04), "Americans Break Record for Beverage Containers Wasted."
Link to California State Department of Conservation press release (12/29/04), "Recycling Rate Surges as Californians Redeem More Bottles and Cans Than Ever Before."
Link to Container Recycling Institute's 3rd edition of their popular report, "The 10¢ Incentive to Recycle," (February, 2004).
Container Recycling Institute press release (12/17/03), "Eight States Celebrate Big Returns on Small Deposits."
Container Recycling Institute press release (10/15/03), "Davis Signs Bottle Bill to Increase the CRV!"
Californians Against Waste report, "California Proposal to Increase Deposit to 5 Cents," (4/12/03).
Californians Against Waste report, "California State Senate Subcommittee Considers Nickel Refund Value," (4/4/03).
Syracuse Post-Standard, "OCRRA Backs Expanded Deposit Law," (3/11/03).
An opinion editorial, written by Cassie Wyss, GrassRoots Recycling Network's new Midwest Organizer.

International Beverage Container Deposits Debated
Press release from Envision New Zealand (July 2004)
Israel update (November 2003)
"German Recycling Scheme Faces Criticism," (10/2/03),
Local governments in Australia advocate container deposit legislation. View their public education brochure and press release (09/24/02).
Western Australia (09/19/02)
prepares to introduce deposits (02/26/02)

BEAR Independent Study:

Bottle bills hailed in an independent study conducted by BEAR (Business and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling) under the watchful eyes of the beverage industry and environmentalists. "Understanding Beverage Container Recycling: A Value Chain Assessment," (Highlights/Key Issues), Press Release (GRRN/CRI), Press Release U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Rivers.

BEAR evaluates Hawaii's bottle bill as progressive and intelligent.

News articles and Press Releases:

Go to the news page, please, by following this link.
© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.