California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act – Bottle Bill

Changes have been made to California’s Beverage Container Recycling Program (also known as the “Bottle Bill”) due to California Senate Bill 1013 (SB 1013) that impact wine and spirits containers sold for consumption in California. Further clarifications were made with California Senate Bill 353 (SB 353), which went into effect immediately as an urgency measure.

Effective January 1, 2024, wine and spirits containers will be added into the Bottle Bill. Containers including Tetra Pak, pouches and bag-in-box are included. Vegetable juice and 100% fruit juice have also been added to the program.

Beginning July 1, 2025, wine and spirts containers will be required to be labeled with California Redemption Value (CRV) indicia. Note that wine and spirits containers filled and labeled by January 1, 2024 – all sizes – are permanently exempt from CRV labeling requirements.

There also is a provision that exempts containers used in tasting rooms. The relevant law also contains numerous provisions meant to both encourage the opening of additional redemption centers and to increase the recycling of glass beverage containers.

 

Prepare for Implementation

To prepare for wine and spirits containers to be included in California’s recycling program, follow the below three steps.

1. Registration

  • For each company, there is one registration.
  • The California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) registers companies based on its federal tax identification number.
  • If a California winery has multiple brands and is operating/selling all the brands under one federal tax identification number, then only one registration/one account is necessary.
  • If a winery is operating using multiple federal tax identification numbers — one for each brand/label they produce in California — then multiple registrations/accounts would be needed.

 

Manufacturer Definition

 

Distributor Definition

 

Third Party Bottling
  • A third-party bottler is determined to be the Manufacturer if it fills the containers and sells these products.
  • The bottler company can transfer manufacturer responsibilities back to a winery through a Pay on Behalf agreement.
  • For further information, contact the CalRecycle Registration Unit by emailing reg.crvlabeling@calrecycle.ca.gov or calling (916) 323-1835.

 

2. CRV Labeling

  • Optional between January 1, 2024, and July 1, 2025 — mandatory thereafter.
  • Wine and spirits containers filled and labeled by January 1, 2024 – all sizes – are permanently exempt from CRV labeling requirements.
  • Example labels.

 

3. Reporting/Payment

Processing Fee
  • Based on all sales and transfers in California.
  • Due monthly.
  • First report and payment due March 10, 2024.
  • Processing fee rates change annually.
  • Amount varies based on container type.
  • 2023 processing fee rates.

 

CRV Redemption Fee
  • California customers will begin paying CRV fees on January 1, 2024, on all wine and spirits containers.
  • Fees will be collected monthly by CalRecycle from beverage distributors – including wineries with direct sales –with the first due date February 28, 2024.
  • Fees apply to all sales and transfers of containers for consumption in California – fees do not apply to out of state sales.
  • Allowed to withhold 1.5% of its CRV fees to CalRecycle to cover administrative costs.
  • Rates for glass/aluminum/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are 5 cents for containers that are less than 24 ounces and 10 cents for those larger.
  • Other container types (including new types such as Tetra Pak, pouches, bag-in-box) will be subject to a 25-cent CRV.

 

Annual reporting/payment
  • Wineries paying less than $15,000 annually in processing fees (~300,000 cases) or $75,000 annually in CRV are eligible to instead submit annually upon approval by CalRecycle.
  • More information on annual reporting payment.

Wine-Related Frequently Asked Questions

Beverages included in the Bottle Bill

What additional beverages will be included in the Bottle Bill beginning January 1, 2024?

  • Wine and spirits, wine coolers and spirits coolers.
  • Vegetable juice and 100% fruit juice.

California Redemption Value (CRV)

What are the CRV fees?

  • Containers that are glass/aluminum/polyethythylene terephthalate (PET) less than 24 ounces are subject to a 5-cent CRV and 10 cents for those larger.
  • New container types into the program (Tetra Pak, pouches, bag-in-box) will be subject to a 25-cent CRV.

How will the CRV be paid?

  • CRV is normally paid to CalRecycle by the distributor, then recovered from the retailer, who then charges the customer. For direct-to-consumer transactions, wineries would pay the fees to CalRecycle and recover by assessing the CRV upon their customers.

CRV Indicia

I have wine already produced but it won’t be sold until after July 1, 2025 (library wine as an example) so how do I have a CRV indicia?

  • Wine and spirits containers filled and labeled by January 1, 2024 – all sizes – are permanently exempt from CRV labeling requirements.

Refund Value

What is the refund value per container?

  • The refund value is the same as the CRV (5, 10 and 25 cents, respectively).

Recycling Centers

Where do consumers take their empty bottles?

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of recycling centers around the state — will this change?

  • There are policy provisions enacted by the passage of SB 1013 and SB 353 meant to sustain existing recycling centers and encourage new ones.

Processing and Redemption Fees

Will there be Processing Fees?

  • A processing fee will need to be paid to CalRecycle for all bottles and containers sold for consumption in California.
  • The processing fee is updated annually. For 2023, the fee for glass is $0.00452 per bottle, and for new container types, $0.00762 per container.
  • Beginning in 2026, the processing fee for new container types will be computed from the actual scrap value of the container type.
  • The fees are meant to offset the cost of recycling different material types.

Do all CRV proceeds go to California’s recycling program, or does it go to California’s general fund?

  • All proceeds will go to the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund, which is managed by CalRecycle for disbursement in accordance with the bottle bill law.

Do we need to keep track of sales for redemption fees (CRV)?

  • For sales directly to a consumer or a retail store, you will need to keep track and pay the redemption fee to CalRecycle.
  • Wineries may collect the CRV fee from customers as a separate charge at the time of sale.
  • Note: If retailers receive wine from a distributor, then the distributor is responsible for the CRV fee which they may collect from the retailer.

Who pays the fee for wines poured in our tasting room?

  • Bottles used in tasting rooms are exempt.

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

  • CalRecycle may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 for non-compliance, plus interest.

Potential Customer Questions

What do I tell customers if they ask about the CRV fee?

  • In order to encourage recycling and litter reduction, California has a law calling for a small California Redemption Value fee to be added to wine bottles that may be refunded when they are recycled.

If customers purchase wine at a winery, can they take the bottle(s) to a recycling center to be reimbursed?

  • Bottles purchased at a winery can be taken to an appropriate recycling location for reimbursement of the CRV fee.

Is California the only state that is doing this type of program?

  • No, Iowa and Maine have bottle deposit programs that include wine. Oregon will expand its bottle deposit program to include wine in cans effective July 1, 2025.

California Legislative Information Resources

Recent bills that have Amended California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act – SB 1013 and SB 353.