California Redemption Value

California Redemption Value

California Redemption Value (CRV) is a deposit paid on purchases of certain recyclable beverage containers in California. The consumer pays CRV on the purchase of beverages with aluminum, plastic, glass, and bimetal containers and can be reimbursed if the containers are brought to a recycling center.

California Redemption Value is easily confused with California Refund Value, which is the amount recycling centers pay to consumers in exchange for empty bottles and cans. This discrepancy is usually unimportant because the redemption (or deposit) value is usually the same as the refund value, although they are different at times. The acronym "CRV" is often used to denote either.


After Oregon passed the Oregon Bottle Bill in 1972 the California Legislature debated its own Bottle Bill for nearly 15 years. After a groundswell of public support and the genesis of some new recycling political organizations, including Californians Against Waste, California passed its Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act of 1986, which enacted the CRV program in 1987. It was one of many laws categorized as container deposit legislation that followed the Oregon Bottle Bill of 1971. Originally, California's "bottle bill" applied only to the containers of carbonated beverages; in 2000, the legislation was updated to include other beverage containers. Legislation is currently pending that would expand the program to include all plastic bottles, including food bottles, cosmetic bottles and cleaning supply bottles. If enacted, California would become the first state in the nation to include such containers. [ [ Legislation - SB 1625] ]

At its inception, the California law allowed consumers to return their beverage containers for 1 cent each. Refund value eventually increased to 2.5 cents (and 4 cents for larger containers) and then to 4 cents (and 8 cents) in 2004. In September 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation (AB 3056) to increase the California Refund Value in the following calendar year. Effective January 1, 2007, recycling centers pay consumers 5 cents for containers less than 24 fl oz and 10 cents for containers 24 fl oz or more. Redemption Value (the deposit customers pay at retail purchase), however, was to remain $0.04 and $0.08 (respectively) through July 1, 2007. Since the recycling rate did not reach 75% by then, Redemption Value also increased to $0.05 and $0.10. In other words, for the first half of 2007, consumers enjoyed a refund rate higher than the deposit rate.

CRV, like all container deposit legislation, has three main purposes: it seeks to encourage recycling, discourage littering, and generate revenue from unclaimed redemptions and sales tax on the CRV.

California Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Recycling administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. The primary goal of the Act is to achieve and maintain high recycling rates for each beverage container type included in the program. The Division provides a number of services to achieve these goals, including enforcement, auditing, grant funding, technical assistance and education.

Cost of CRV

CRV for aluminum, glass, metal, and plastic containers is:

*5 cents for containers under 24 fl oz

*10 cents for containers 24 fl oz or more

The retailer adds the cost of CRV on top of the beverage cost. This means that if a 12-pack of beer costs $10.00, the customer actually pays a total of $10.60—$10.00 for the beer plus a $0.60 deposit for CRV (12 bottles of beer times $0.05 equals $0.60). On beverages which are subject to sales tax, applicable state and local tax is also collected on this total. On beverages which are not subject to sales tax, such as juice and non-alcoholic and non-carbonated drinks in applicable containers, sales tax is not collected on the CRV either.

While the retailer must collect and submit to the state sales tax on the CRV, the consumer is not entitled to a refund of that sales tax when the consumer redeems the containers. [ [ 10 Consumer Sales and Use Tax Questions, Publication 53-A ] ]

Consumers should also be aware that 24 fl oz (710 mL) bottles such as those sold by Pepsi and Aquafina to name a few, are sometimes charged the 10 cent and other times the 5 cent CRV dependent upon the particular retailer. Check your receipts.

Types of beverages

CRV is paid on the following types of beverages:
*Carbonated and noncarbonated water
*Carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and sport drinks
*Coffee and tea drinks
*Beer and other malt beverages
*Chocolate milk or other flavored milks

CRV is not paid on the following:
*White Milk
*Medical food
*Infant formula
*Distilled spirits
*100% fruit juice in containers 46 fl oz or more
*Products not in liquid or "ready to drink" form
*Products not intended for human consumption
*Containers not made of glass, metal, or plastic

External links

* [ Find a CRV recycling center by zipcode]
* [ 2007 Refund Value Increase]
* [ California Department of Conservation / Division of Recycling]
* [ SF Environment summary of CRV]
* [ California Beautiful]
* [] Californians Against Waste


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