DES MOINES, Iowa — Since 1979, every time a carbonated drink, beer or bottle of wine was purchased in Iowa, a five-cent fee per bottle was charged. It's part of Iowa's bottle deposit bill that refunds the extra charges when the item is later recycled.
Also known as Iowa's Beverage Containers Control Law, the goal was to minimize litter on the roads and encourage recycling practices. Attempts to change the bill have gone on for decades, and now the bill is closer than it's ever been to passing.
Recycle advocates say the current proposal is almost perfect, but right now it gives grocery stores the option to opt-out of the rule.
State Representative Brian Lohse says the house and senate are close to a compromise on the current legislation. He explained a key part is enforcing redemption centers in each county, but if it can't get solved this year, they might take a different approach next year.
"I think this is a sense of frustration," Lohse said. "If we can't get people on board to fix it, the only other option is to repeal it. I don't think that's the worst thing in the world. We have to do it responsibly, not just cut it off... but I think there is a sense of frustration that we are so close that if we can't bridge that gap right now, what else can we do?"
Mid America Recycling spokesman Mick Barry said if you don't want the bottle bill to be repealed next year, people would need to call their legislators and encourage them to pass it in 2022.