The History of Can Sacks®

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Recently, there has been a push to expand the Michigan bottle recycling laws first approved in 1976. Michigan’s Bottle Bill is only one of 10 in the United States. Already one of the most successful bottle bills, Michigan legislators hope to expand upon what items fall under the bill.

The current bill covers particular soft drinks, beer, and other carbonated beverages. An expansion would aim to cover all other non-carbonated beverages and allow universal redemption. Universal redemption would let customers return any bottle to any store. Other proposed bills would focus on funding for distributors and allocate a budget for contaminated sites.

According to the Bottle Bill Resource Guide, Michigan has the highest deposit in the country, 10¢, along with Oregon. Michigan has the highest recycling rate and has around 200 curbside recycling programs.

One-quarter of unredeemed deposits go to retailers, while the other 75% is allocated to Michigan’s Cleanup and Redevelopment Trust Fund. That money is split three ways between the Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund, Community Pollution Prevention Fund, and Trust Fund. The amount is split as follows:

  • 80% to the Cleanup and Redevelopment Fund to clean sites of contamination in the state
  • 10% to the Community Pollution Prevention Fund for educational programs on pollution prevention and toxic material release and disposal reduction
  • 10% stays with the Trust Fund until it reaches a maximum of $200 million

The Bottle Bill Resource Guide says that “The presence of a bottle bill in a state generally results in much higher materials recovery rates–which benefits the ecosystem by reducing litter, and supports the recycling industry, which depends on a constant stream of recyclable materials.”

Petoskey Plastics became involved in the Can Sacks® market in 1974 when Oregon passed the first bottle bill. Then, Can Sacks® became a full product line in 1976 along with the passage of Michigan’s bottle return law. Full marketing efforts came along with bottle bills passing in Iowa and multiple New England states.

Our Can Sacks® have been dubbed The Smartest Container Collection Bags on the Planet®. These bags are multi-layered for strength and durability to hold the beverage containers without ripping. They are clearly labeled for recycling and have a printed fill line for bottles and cans, making them great bags for stadium, campus, and event recycling.

Of course, we use recycled material in our recycling collection bags — up to 70% post-consumer recycled content. The recycled content reduces carbon pollution by as much as 20%. This is an excellent feature for businesses looking to meet sustainability goals without added cost. You can find more information on our Can Sacks® on our website.

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