Michigan Stores No Longer Accepting Bottle Returns As Virus Spreads

bottle return
By WWJ Newsradio 950

DETROIT (WWJ) - You'll have to wait a few weeks to cash in on those bottle deposits. 

Retailers across Michigan are no longer accepting bottle returns.

In accordance with the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, beginning Tuesday, Michigan retailers will no longer accept empty containers of beer, wine and pop, and distributors of those beverages will no longer accept or collect the containers.

The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, along with the Midwest Independent Retailers Association and Michigan Retailers Association, says it's all about keeping employees safe.

"The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for several days, putting our employees and their loved ones at risk each time they collect empty beverage containers. This is part of our ongoing effort to ensure our employees are able to carry out their jobs in the safest manner possible while doing our part to comply with the governor’s recent orders," the associations said in a statement.

Stores are expected to resume accepting bottle returns when the executive order expires on April 13.

Retailers in several other states, including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont, have also stopped collecting bottles temporarily while the virus continues to spread.

As on Monday afternoon, Michigan's official total of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 1,328, including 18 deaths.