California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Beverage Container Recycling

Beverage Distributors & Manufacturers

How This Web Page Works

This website is focused on you, the beverage manufacturer and beverage distributor and will guide you through the process of conforming to the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (Act). The web site will tell you how to register, label your product correctly, when to complete the required reports and how to submit timely payments.

How California’s Recycling Program Works

The goal of the Act is to achieve an 80 percent recycling rate for all aluminum, glass, plastic, and bimetal beverage containers sold in California, thereby reducing the beverage container component of litter in the state. Beverage containers covered by the Act include those filled with carbonated mineral and soda water and other similar carbonated soft drinks, noncarbonated soft drinks, wine coolers and distilled spirit coolers, beer and malt beverages, as well as noncarbonated water including noncarbonated mineral water, sport drinks, coffee and tea drinks, vegetable juice in beverage containers 16oz. or less, carbonated and noncarbonated fruit drinks that contain any percentage of fruit juice and 100 percent fruit juices that are packaged in containers less than 46 oz. in volume. The program does not cover any beverage container product type that is not specifically included by the Act.

The California recycling program is funded through redemption payments made to CalRecycle by beverage distributors on each beverage container sold in the state. Redemption payment revenues are deposited in the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund (Fund). Payments are made out of the Fund to consumers in the form of California Refund Value (CRV) when they return empty beverage containers to certified recycling centers. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, CRV paid to consumers when they recycle containers at recycling centers increased to 5 for each beverage container less than 24 ounces and 10 for each container 24 ounces or greater. Effective July 1, 2007, the redemption payment made by beverage distributors is 5 for each beverage container less than 24 ounces and 10 for each container 24 ounces or greater.

Redemption payments made for unredeemed containers are not needed to pay CRV and are therefore available for other recycling-related activities. These activities include handling fee payments to convenience zone recyclers, payments to local curbside programs, payments to cities and counties, and recycling grants to the local conservation corps and to entities statewide. Unclaimed CRV funds are also used to support the administration of the recycling program.

Definition of a Beverage Manufacturer

A beverage manufacturer is any person who bottles, cans, or otherwise fills beverage containers, or imports filled beverage containers, for sale to distributors, dealers, or consumers. (PRC 14506; Section 2000 (a) (3.2))

Beverage manufacturer requirements include:

  • Monthly submission of Beverage Manufacturer Reports and corresponding payments for processing fees to the Division of Recycling. The current Processing Fee can be found on the Official Notices page.
  • Maintain proper record keeping and record retention.
  • Proper filing and payment of annual report if designated as having Annual Reporter status.
  • Notification to the Division in writing if closing business, change in ownership or change of address.

Definition of Beverage Distributor

A distributor is any person who engages in the sale of beverages in beverage containers to a dealer in California, including any manufacturer who engages in these sales. Distributor also includes any person who imports beverages from outside of California for sale to dealers or consumers in California. (PRC 14511)

Distributor requirements include:

  • Monthly submission of Distributor Reports and corresponding redemption payments to the Division. The current California Redemption Value (CRV) rate can be found on the Official Notices page.
  • Maintain proper record keeping and record retention.
  • Proper filing and payment of annual report if designated as having Annual Reporter status.
  • Notification to the Division in writing if closing business or change in ownership.
Last updated: December 12, 2014
Beverage Manufacturers & Distributors, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/BevDistMan/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/BevDistMan/Contacts.htm