Florida Senate - 2020 SB 50 By Senator Rader 29-00024A-20 202050__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to beverage container deposits; 3 creating s. 403.778, F.S.; providing a short title; 4 defining terms; establishing refund values for 5 specified beverage containers; requiring dealers and 6 consumers in this state to pay a deposit fee for 7 specified beverage containers; requiring that certain 8 information be affixed to or printed on deposit 9 beverage containers; prohibiting the establishment or 10 operation of a redemption center unless it is 11 registered with the Department of Environmental 12 Protection; providing minimum standards for 13 registration; requiring that information provided to 14 the department in the registration process be kept 15 current; providing that persons establishing a 16 redemption center have a certain right; providing 17 requirements for redemption centers; prohibiting 18 redemption centers from paying the refund value for 19 certain containers; authorizing the use of reverse 20 vending machines under certain circumstances; 21 specifying requirements and procedures for certain 22 deposit beverage dealers and distributors; requiring 23 distributors to pay a handling fee of at least a 24 specified amount to dealers and redemption centers; 25 requiring certain dealers, distributors, redemption 26 centers, and recycling facilities to submit specified 27 information to the department and to make records 28 available to the department upon request; authorizing 29 the department or other specified entities to conduct 30 certain audits; clarifying that certain trade secret 31 information is confidential but authorizing the 32 release of that information in a manner that would not 33 reveal the trade secret; requiring the department to 34 adopt rules; providing that distributors and dealers 35 are not obligated to accept or take containers not 36 originally sold in this state or to pay the refund 37 value and handling fees for them; prohibiting certain 38 transactions involving such empty deposit beverage 39 containers and requiring a specified notice to 40 customers; providing a civil penalty for violations; 41 providing for disposition of the penalty; requiring 42 such penalties to be publicly noticed; prohibiting 43 local governments from imposing fees for the same or a 44 similar purpose; providing an effective date. 45 46 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that roadside litter 47 presents an obstacle to promoting tourism and that reducing the 48 amount of roadside litter improves the quality of life for the 49 residents of this state, and 50 WHEREAS, the Legislature further finds that recycling is an 51 important element of an integrated solid waste management system 52 that protects and preserves environmental resources and reduces 53 economic costs to residents and businesses in this state, and 54 WHEREAS, the Legislature further finds that the reduction 55 of litter and the expansion of recycling program participation 56 is in the best interest of residents and visitors to this state, 57 and 58 WHEREAS, the purposes of this act are to reduce litter, to 59 increase recycling rates for specified deposit beverage 60 containers, to encourage recycling, to reduce waste disposal 61 costs, to provide a connection between manufacturing decisions 62 and recycling program management, to create local jobs, to 63 combat climate change, and to save energy, NOW, THEREFORE, 64 65 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 66 67 Section 1. Section 403.778, Florida Statutes, is created to 68 read: 69 403.778 Beverage container deposits.— 70 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Florida 71 Beverage Container Deposit Act.” 72 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 73 (a) “Certified recovered materials dealer” has the same 74 meaning as in s. 403.7046(3)(f). 75 (b) “Consumer” means a person who buys a deposit beverage 76 in a deposit beverage container for use or consumption and pays 77 the deposit. 78 (c) “Dealer” means a person who engages in the sale of 79 deposit beverages in deposit beverage containers in this state 80 to a consumer for off-premises consumption. 81 (d) “Deposit beverage” means beer, ale, or another drink 82 produced by fermenting malt; mixed spirits, mixed wine, wine, 83 distilled spirits, and wine coolers; tea and coffee drinks, 84 regardless of any dairy-derived product content; soda; 85 carbonated and noncarbonated water; and all nonalcoholic drinks 86 in liquid form which are intended for internal human consumption 87 and are contained in a deposit beverage container. The term does 88 not include any of the following: 89 1. A liquid that is a syrup in a concentrated form or that 90 is typically added as an incidental flavoring ingredient in food 91 or drink, such as extracts, cooking additives, sauces, or 92 condiments. 93 2. A liquid that is a drug, medical food, or infant formula 94 as defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 95 U.S.C. ss. 301 et seq. 96 3. A liquid that is designed and consumed only as a dietary 97 supplement as defined in the Dietary Supplement Health and 98 Education Act of 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-417, and not as a 99 beverage. 100 4. Products that are frozen at the time of sale to the 101 consumer or, in the case of institutional users such as 102 hospitals and nursing homes, at the time of sale to such users. 103 5. Products designed to be consumed in a frozen state. 104 6. Instant drink powders. 105 7. Seafood, meat, or vegetable broths or soups, but not 106 juices made or derived from these products. 107 8. Milk and all other dairy-derived products, except tea 108 and coffee drinks containing such products. 109 (e) “Deposit beverage container” means a sealed, individual 110 container made of glass, aluminum, steel, bimetal, or plastic, 111 including polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, 112 and all other plastic types and grades, in sizes of at least 6 113 fluid ounces but no more than 1 gallon, and used, at the time of 114 sale to the consumer, for containing a deposit beverage intended 115 for use or consumption in this state. 116 (f) “Distributor” means a person who manufacturers deposit 117 beverages in deposit beverage containers in this state or who 118 buys, brings, or accepts delivery of deposit beverage containers 119 from an address, supplier, or any entity outside this state and 120 who engages in the sale of filled deposit beverage containers to 121 a dealer or consumer. The term includes federal agencies and 122 military distributors, but does not include airlines and 123 shipping companies that merely transport deposit beverage 124 containers. 125 (g) “Mobile redemption center” means a redemption center 126 that offers container redemption services to residences, 127 businesses, or both on their respective sites, either on a one 128 time or regular basis, regardless of whether the services are 129 offered in association with a dealer or permanent redemption 130 center. 131 (h) “On-premises consumption” means the immediate 132 consumption of deposit beverages within the area under the 133 control of the airplane, bar, restaurant, cafe, passenger ship, 134 or other establishment where they are sold. 135 (i) “Person” means a federal agency; the state or a 136 political subdivision of the state; an individual, partnership, 137 firm, association, public or private corporation, trust, or 138 estate; or any other legal entity. 139 (j) “Recycling facility” means all contiguous land, 140 structures, appurtenances, and improvements on land that is: 141 1. Used for the collection, separation, recovery, and sale 142 or reuse of secondary resources that would otherwise be disposed 143 of as municipal solid waste; and 144 2. An integral part of a manufacturing process aimed at 145 producing a marketable product made of post-consumer material. 146 (k) “Redeemer” means a person, other than a dealer or 147 distributor, who demands the refund value in exchange for the 148 empty deposit beverage container. 149 (l) “Redemption center” or “permanent redemption center” 150 means a facility registered under this section which operates at 151 a fixed location and which accepts empty deposit containers from 152 consumers or redeemers, provides the refund value for empty 153 deposit beverage containers intended to be recycled, and ensures 154 that such containers are properly recycled. 155 (m) “Reverse vending machine” means a mechanical device 156 that accepts one or more types of empty deposit beverage 157 containers and issues cash, electronic credit, or a redeemable 158 credit slip with a value not less than the containers’ refund 159 value. 160 (n) “Satellite drop-off site” means a designated site where 161 participating consumers bring empty containers for subsequent 162 processing at a redemption center. 163 (3) REFUND VALUES.—Beginning July 1, 2021, each deposit 164 beverage container sold or offered for sale in this state must 165 have one of the following refund values, as appropriate, when 166 empty: 167 (a) Five cents for each deposit beverage container with a 168 volume of at least 6 fluid ounces but less than 25 fluid ounces. 169 (b) Ten cents for each deposit beverage container with a 170 volume of at least 25 fluid ounces but not more than 1 gallon. 171 (4) DEPOSIT FEE.— 172 (a) Beginning on July 1, 2021, each deposit beverage 173 distributor must charge a dealer or consumer in this state a 174 deposit fee equal to the refund value for each deposit beverage 175 container sold to the dealer or consumer. The charge for the 176 deposit fee may appear as a separate line item on the invoice. 177 (b) Beginning on July 1, 2021, each dealer must charge a 178 consumer in this state, at the point of sale, a deposit fee 179 equal to the refund value for each deposit beverage container 180 sold to the consumer, except on beverages intended for on 181 premises consumption. The charge for the deposit fee may appear 182 as a separate line item on the invoice. 183 (c) Each deposit beverage container sold or offered for 184 sale in this state must be clearly identified by a stamp, label, 185 or other mark securely affixed to or printed on the deposit 186 beverage container which bears the word “Florida” or the letters 187 “FL” and indicates the refund value of the deposit beverage 188 container. The beverage distributor must provide such stamp, 189 label, or other mark. 190 (d) Inventory already in circulation on July 1, 2021, must 191 be affixed with an adhesive sticker that bears the word 192 “Florida” or the letters “FL” and indicates the refund value of 193 the deposit beverage container. The beverage distributor must 194 provide such a sticker. 195 (e) Once a refund value has been affixed to or printed on a 196 deposit beverage container, the deposit fee on that container 197 may not be changed. 198 (5) REDEMPTION CENTERS.— 199 (a) A person may not establish or operate a redemption 200 center without registering with the department, on a form the 201 department furnishes, and providing such information as the 202 department deems necessary for such registration. The operator 203 of the redemption center shall report any change in the 204 information provided to the department within 48 hours after the 205 change. At a minimum, the department must obtain all of the 206 following information from a redemption center registrant: 207 1. The name and business address of the business owner of 208 the redemption center. 209 2. The types of deposit beverage containers to be accepted 210 and whether deposit beverage containers will be accepted from 211 redeemers, dealers, or both. 212 3. The hours of operation and whether the center will 213 operate a mobile redemption center or provide a satellite drop 214 off site. 215 (b) A person establishing a redemption center has the right 216 to determine the kind, size, or brand of deposit beverage 217 container that will be accepted. A redemption center may be 218 established to serve all persons or to serve only specified 219 consumers, redeemers, and dealers. 220 (c) Municipal and county governments, nonprofit agencies, 221 dealers, and individuals may register to operate a redemption 222 center. 223 (d) The department may review the registration of a 224 redemption center at any time. 225 (e) Except for redemption centers operated by a certified 226 recovered materials dealer, a redemption center shall do all of 227 the following: 228 1. Verify that all deposit beverage containers to be 229 redeemed bear a valid Florida refund value. 230 2. Pay to the redeemer the full refund value for all 231 deposit beverage containers as provided for in this section. 232 3. Ensure that all deposit beverage containers collected 233 are recycled through a contractual agreement with an out-of 234 state recycler or an in-state certified recovered materials 235 dealer. 236 (f) A redemption center must be maintained in full 237 compliance with applicable laws and with the orders and rules of 238 the department. 239 (g) A redemption center may not pay the refund value on any 240 broken, corroded, or flattened deposit beverage container or any 241 deposit beverage container that contains a free-flowing liquid, 242 does not properly indicate a refund value, or contains a 243 significant amount of foreign material. 244 (h) For purposes of this section, a redemption center is 245 deemed to be sponsored by a dealer if there is an agreement 246 between the dealer and the redemption center operator requiring 247 the redemption center to remove empty deposit beverage 248 containers from the dealer’s premises. 249 (6) REVERSE VENDING MACHINES.— 250 (a) A redemption center may use a reverse vending machine 251 if the machine accepts all of the same types of empty deposit 252 beverage containers and pays out appropriate refunds in cash, 253 electronic credit, or a redeemable voucher for those containers 254 that bear a valid Florida refund value. If more than one 255 container is redeemed in a single transaction, the refund value 256 for all redeemed containers must be aggregated before payment is 257 made. 258 (b) A redemption center or dealer that uses reverse vending 259 machines must ensure that the machines are routinely serviced to 260 maintain proper operation, continuous acceptance of containers, 261 and payment of refunds. 262 (7) REQUIREMENTS FOR DEALERS.— 263 (a) A dealer may not refuse to accept from any person and 264 redeem at the dealer’s place of business any empty deposit 265 beverage container of the kind, size, or brand the dealer uses 266 to sell deposit beverages or refuse to pay to such person the 267 refund value of the deposit beverage container as established by 268 this section, unless: 269 1. The deposit beverage container is broken, corroded, or 270 flattened; contains a free-flowing liquid; does not properly 271 indicate a refund value; or contains a significant amount of 272 foreign material; or 273 2. There is a redemption center located within 1 mile of 274 the dealer’s place of business which accepts empty deposit 275 beverage containers of the kind, size, or brand sold by the 276 dealer at the dealer’s place of business. This subparagraph does 277 not apply unless the dealer posts a clear and conspicuous sign 278 at each public entrance to its place of business which specifies 279 the name, address, and hours of operation of the closest 280 redemption center location. 281 (b) If a dealer discontinues the sale of a deposit beverage 282 container of the kind, size, or brand previously sold at the 283 dealer’s place of business, the dealer may not refuse to accept 284 and redeem such containers for the 60-day period immediately 285 after the dealer’s last sale of that kind, size, or brand of 286 deposit beverage container. The dealer shall post at the point 287 of sale a notice of the last date on which the discontinued 288 kind, size, or brand of deposit beverage container may be 289 redeemed. Such notice must be so posted for the entire 60-day 290 period. 291 (c) A dealer who accepts empty deposit beverage containers 292 shall do all of the following: 293 1. Verify that all empty deposit beverage containers to be 294 redeemed bear a valid Florida refund value. 295 2. Pay to the redeemer the full refund value for all empty 296 deposit beverage containers as provided in this section. 297 3. Ensure that each deposit beverage container collected is 298 recycled through a contractual agreement with an out-of-state 299 recycler or an in-state certified recovered materials dealer. 300 (8) REQUIREMENTS FOR DISTRIBUTORS.— 301 (a) A distributor may not refuse to accept any empty 302 deposit beverage container of the kind, size, or brand sold by 303 the distributor or refuse to pay to a dealer or redemption 304 center operator the refund value of a deposit beverage container 305 established by this section if: 306 1. The deposit beverage container is from a dealer or the 307 operator of a redemption center, if such dealer or operator is 308 located within the territory of the distributor; or 309 2. The deposit beverage container is from an operator of a 310 redemption center who certifies to the distributor that the 311 redeemed container was from a dealer located and operated 312 exclusively within the territory of the distributor. 313 (b) A distributor may refuse to accept and redeem an empty 314 deposit beverage container that is broken, corroded, or 315 flattened; contains a free-flowing liquid; does not properly 316 indicate a refund value; or contains a significant amount of 317 foreign material. 318 (c) A distributor shall remove any empty deposit beverage 319 containers from the premises of a dealer serviced by the 320 distributor or from the premises of a redemption center 321 sponsored by any dealer serviced by the distributor when such 322 premises are located within the territory of the distributor. 323 (d) The distributor shall pay the refund value to a dealer 324 in accordance with a schedule for payment agreed to by the 325 dealer and the distributor for full deposit beverage containers. 326 The distributor shall pay the refund value to an operator of a 327 redemption center not more than 20 days after receipt of the 328 empty deposit beverage container. 329 (e) If a distributor discontinues the sale of a deposit 330 beverage container of the kind, size, or brand previously sold 331 at the dealer’s place of business, the distributor may not 332 refuse to accept and redeem such container during the 150-day 333 period immediately after the distributor’s last day of delivery 334 of that kind, size, or brand of deposit beverage container. Not 335 less than 120 days before the last date on which such container 336 may be redeemed, the distributor must notify the dealer who 337 bought the discontinued kind, size, or brand of deposit beverage 338 container that the distributor no longer redeems that empty 339 container. 340 (9) HANDLING FEE REIMBURSEMENT.—Upon a dealer or a 341 redemption center redeeming empty deposit beverage containers, 342 the distributor, in addition to the refund for such beverage 343 containers, must pay the dealer or redemption center a handling 344 fee in an amount equal to at least 20 percent of the deposit 345 returned to the consumer. 346 (10) REQUIRED INFORMATION AND RECORDS.— 347 (a) Beginning August 1, 2021 and every 4 months thereafter, 348 all dealers, distributors, redemption centers, and recycling 349 facilities that accept empty deposit beverage containers shall 350 submit the following information to the department: 351 1. The amount and type of deposit beverage containers 352 accepted and rejected; 353 2. The amount of refunds paid out; 354 3. The amount and weight of each type of deposit beverage 355 container transported to each out-of-state recycler and in-state 356 certified recovered materials dealer; and 357 4. Copies of transport and weight receipts from recycling 358 facilities. If the redemption center and the recycling facility 359 are the same entity, receipts must be independently verified. 360 Such documentation may be used for periodic, random department 361 audits of redemption centers. 362 (b) The records of all such dealers, distributors, 363 redemption centers, and recycling facilities must be made 364 available, upon request, for inspection by the department, a 365 duly authorized agent of the department, or an auditor employed 366 by the state. 367 (c) Pursuant to s. 815.04, information that, if disclosed, 368 would reveal a trade secret as defined in s. 812.081, and that 369 must be reported in accordance with this section or rules 370 adopted pursuant to this section, is confidential and exempt 371 from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 372 Constitution. However, for reporting or other informational 373 purposes, the department may provide potential trade secret 374 information in such a form that the names of the persons 375 reporting the information and the specific trade secret 376 information are not revealed. 377 (11) RULES.—The department shall adopt rules pursuant to 378 chapter 120 to implement this section. Such rules must include, 379 but need not be limited to, provisions for the redemption of 380 empty deposit beverage containers dispensed through vending 381 machines; the use of reverse vending machines that dispense 382 cash, electronic credit, or a redeemable voucher to consumers 383 for redemption of empty deposit beverage containers; the 384 scheduling of redemption by dealers and distributors; and 385 exemptions or modifications to the labeling requirements of this 386 section. 387 (12) OBLIGATION; VIOLATION OF SECTION; PENALTY; REQUIRED 388 SIGNAGE.— 389 (a) The obligation of a distributor or dealer to accept or 390 take empty deposit beverage containers and to pay the refund 391 value and handling fees for such containers applies only to 392 deposit beverage containers originally sold in this state as 393 filled deposit beverage containers. 394 (b) A person may not, during a single transaction, tender 395 to a dealer, distributor, or redemption center more than 24 396 empty deposit beverage containers that the person knows, or has 397 reason to know, were not originally sold in this state as filled 398 deposit beverage containers. A person who violates this 399 paragraph commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a 400 civil penalty of $100, which must be deposited in the 401 Administrative Trust Fund of the department and used to 402 administer this section. 403 (c) At each location where customers tender empty deposit 404 beverage containers for redemption, dealers and redemption 405 centers must conspicuously display a sign with letters that are 406 at least 1 inch in height advising consumers of the prohibition 407 and penalty imposed in paragraph (b). 408 (13) PREEMPTION.—A county or municipality may not impose or 409 collect any assessment or fee on deposit beverage containers for 410 the same or a similar purpose as that of this section. 411 Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.