Data compiled and newly released from the Container Recycling Institute shows the majority of the 10 bottle bill states saw little change in redemption rates last year.
The Culver City, Calif., organization indicates seven of nine bottle bill states with available data experienced either a drop or remained with 1 percent of 2021 numbers. Iowa did not have current data.
Information collected by CRI includes all containers subject to deposits, including plastic bottles.
The nonprofit group said only Oregon and Maine experienced what it called a "noticeable increase" year over year for redemption of containers, including plastic bottles. Oregon's redemption rate increased by 5 percent, and Maine's jumped by 3 percent.
Vermont decreased by 5 percent, and Hawaii fell by 3 percent. Staying within 1 percent of their 2021 results, plus or minus, in 2022 were: Michigan, California, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
"Stagnant or dropping redemption rates point to the need for program modernizations – such as higher container deposit amounts, coverage of more beverage types, and additional convenient options for consumers to return bottles and cans. Several bottle bill states still do not include deposits on noncarbonated drinks, including bottled water – sales of which have skyrocketed since the deposit return systems were implemented in the 1970s and '80s," CRI President Susan Collins said in a statement.
Collins also said she believes program changes in California and Connecticut should lead to higher redemption rates in the future.
CRI describes redemption rates as the number of containers redeemed as a percentage of the number of deposits taken.
Collins warned that the redemption rates can lag when changes are made as consumers become aware and adjust their behavior to start recycling containers that previously were exempt.
With just 10 of 50 states using deposit return systems, and most of those stagnating or falling, CRI believes the United States will one day adopt a national bottle bill. But, until then, work needs to continue on the state level to improve redemption rates and create new programs, Collins said.