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Meijer reopening bottle, can returns on June 15

Currently, there is an estimated $65 million in unreturned beverage containers in Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer announced Thursday that it will begin accepting beverage containers for return on Monday, June 15 at its Michigan stores after temporarily discontinuing returns in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, there is an estimated $65 million in unreturned beverage containers in Michigan, according to a press release from Meijer. 

Retailers will need to take additional action around sanitization and social distancing to accommodate the expected return of large quantities of bottles and cans that have been stockpiled during the pandemic. Therefore, Meijer is asking its customers to also prepare appropriately and follow a few simple tips when returning bottles and cans to make the process as smooth as possible.

These include:

  • Separate your bottles and cans before coming to the store to help keep the flow of customers moving.
  • Drain all cans and bottles and place them in clean bags/containers before coming to the store.
  • Only bring beverage container brands that are sold at Meijer stores.
  • Understand the maximum amount of returnable beverage containers is $25 each visit.
  • Plan accordingly before you arrive as the bottle return rooms will be busy.
  • Please be patient, practice social distancing and wear a face covering.

“These last few months have posed numerous challenges, but we appreciate the patience of all our customers and team members as we navigated through them together,” said Todd Weer, Meijer Senior Vice President of Stores. “We know there is an abundance of beverage containers waiting to be recycled, so we’re asking all of our customers to please be patient and respectful toward each other as we deal with a volume of returnable containers that we’ve never seen before.”

The collection of returnable beverage containers has been suspended since March 23. The temporary suspension came with Michigan fight against COVID-19, and permitted grocery stores to shift employees from container collection to other areas where workers were more urgently needed. 

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