Text: H.R.4343 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 4343 IH
102d CONGRESS
2d Session
 H. R. 4343
To amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to require a refund value for certain
beverage containers, and to provide resources for State pollution prevention
and recycling programs, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 27, 1992
Mr. MARKEY (for himself, Mr. HENRY, Mr. BONIOR, Mr. KOSTMAYER, Mr. SIKORSKI,
Mr. SCHEUER, Mr. STUDDS, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. UPTON, Mrs. KENNELLY,
Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. FORD of Michigan, Mr. MILLER of California, Mr. BROWN,
Mr. DELLUMS, Mr. STOKES, Mr. ANDREWS of Maine, Mr. ATKINS, Mr. AUCOIN,
Mr. BEILENSON, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. CARR, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. DEFAZIO,
Ms. DELAURO, Mr. DE LUGO, Mr. DWYER of New Jersey, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA,
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. GILCHREST, Mr. GOODLING, Mrs. JOHNSON of
Connecticut, Mr. KILDEE, Mr. KOLTER, Mr. KOPETSKI, Mr. LEACH, Mr. LEVIN of
Michigan, Mr. LEVINE of California, Mr. MCHUGH, Mr. MAVROULES, Mr. MFUME,
Mr. MINETA, Mrs. MORELLA, Mr. MRAZEK, Ms. NORTON, Mr. OLVER, Mr. OWENS of
Utah, Mr. PALLONE, MS. PELOSI, Mr. PURSELL, Mr. SANDERS, Mrs. SCHROEDER,
Ms. SLAUGHTER, Mr. SOLARZ, Mr. TRAFICANT, Mr. TRAXLER, Mr. WALSH, Mr. WEISS,
Mr. WOLPE, and Mr. YATES) introduced the following bill; which was referred
to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
A BILL
To amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to require a refund value for certain
beverage containers, and to provide resources for State pollution prevention
and recycling programs, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `National Beverage Container Reuse and
  Recycling Act of 1992'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
  The Congress finds the following:
  (1) The failure to reuse and recycle empty beverage containers represents
  a significant and unnecessary waste of important national energy and
  material resources.
  (2) The littering of empty beverage containers constitutes a public
  nuisance, safety hazard, and aesthetic blight and imposes upon public
  agencies, private businesses, farmers, and landowners unnecessary costs
  for the collection and removal of such containers.
  (3) Solid waste resulting from such empty beverage containers constitutes
  a significant and rapidly growing proportion of municipal solid waste and
  increases the cost and problems of effectively managing the disposal of
  such waste.
  (4) It is difficult for local communities to raise the necessary capital
  needed to initiate comprehensive recycling programs.
  (5) The reuse and recycling of empty beverage containers would help
  eliminate these unnecessary burdens on individuals, local governments,
  and the environment.
  (6) Several States have previously enacted and implemented State laws
  designed to protect the environment, conserve energy and material resources
  and promote resource recovery of waste by requiring a refund value on
  the sale of all beverage containers, and these have proven inexpensive to
  administer and effective at reducing financial burdens on communities by
  internalizing the cost of recycling and litter control to the producers
  and consumers of beverages.
  (7) A national system for requiring a refund value on the sale of all
  beverage containers would act as a positive incentive to individuals to
  clean up the environment and would result in a high level of reuse and
  recycling of such containers and help reduce the costs associated with
  solid waste management.
  (8) A national system for requiring a refund value on the sale of all
  beverage containers would result in significant energy conservation and
  resource recovery.
  (9) The reuse and recycling of empty beverage containers would eliminate
  these unnecessary burdens on the Federal Government, local and State
  governments, and the environment.
  (10) The collection of unclaimed refunds from such a system would provide
  the resources necessary to assist comprehensive reuse and recycling programs
  throughout the Nation.
  (11) A national system of beverage container recycling is consistent
  with the intent of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
  (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).
  (12) The provisions of this Act are consistent with the goals set in
  January 1988, by the Environmental Protection Agency, which establish
  a national goal of 25 percent source reduction and recycling by 1992,
  coupled with a substantial slowing of the projected rate of increase in
  waste generation by the year 2000.
SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL ACT.
  (a) AMENDMENT- The Solid Waste Disposal Act is amended by adding the
  following new subtitle at the end thereof:
`SUBTITLE K--BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING
`SEC. 12001. DEFINITIONS.
  `For purposes of this subtitle--
  `(1) The term `beverage' means beer or other malt beverage, mineral water,
  soda water, wine cooler, or a carbonated soft drink of any variety in
  liquid form intended for human consumption.
  `(2) The term `beverage container' means a container constructed of metal,
  glass, plastic, or some combination of these materials and having a capacity
  of up to one gallon of liquid and which is or has been sealed and used
  to contain a beverage for sale in interstate commerce. The opening of a
  beverage container in a manner in which it was designed to be opened and
  the compression of a beverage container made of metal or plastic shall not,
  for purposes of this section, constitute the breaking of the container
  if the statement of the amount of the refund value of the container is
  still readable.
  `(3) The term `beverage distributor' means a person who sells or offers
  for sale in interstate commerce to beverage retailers beverages in beverage
  containers for resale.
  `(4) The term `beverage retailer' means a person who purchases from
  a beverage distributor beverages in beverage containers for sale to a
  consumer or who sells or offers to sell in commerce beverages in beverage
  containers to a consumer.
  `(5) The term `consumer' means a person who purchases a beverage container
  for any use other than resale.
  `(6) The term `refund value' means the amount specified as the refund
  value of a beverage container under section 12002.
  `(7) The term `wine cooler' means a drink containing less than 7 percent
  alcohol (by volume), consisting of wine and plain, sparkling, or carbonated
  water and containing any one or more of the following: non-alcoholic
  beverage, flavoring, coloring materials, fruit juices, fruit adjuncts,
  sugar, carbon dioxide, preservatives.
`SEC. 12002. REQUIRED BEVERAGE CONTAINER LABELING.
  `Except as otherwise provided in section 12007, no beverage distributor
  or beverage retailer may sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce
  a beverage in a beverage container unless there is clearly, prominently,
  and securely affixed to, or printed on, the container a statement of the
  refund value of the container in the amount of 10 cents. The Administrator
  shall promulgate rules establishing uniform standards for the size and
  location of the refund value statement on beverage containers. The 10
  cent amount specified in this section shall be subject to adjustment by
  the Administrator as provided in section 12008.
`SEC. 12003. ORIGINATION OF REFUND VALUE.
  `For each beverage in a beverage container sold in interstate commerce
  to a beverage retailer by a beverage distributor, the distributor shall
  collect from the retailer the amount of the refund value shown on the
  container. With respect to each beverage in a beverage container sold in
  interstate commerce to a consumer by a beverage retailer, the retailer
  shall collect from the consumer the amount of the refund value shown on
  the container. No person other than the persons described in this section
  may collect a deposit on a beverage container.
`SEC. 12004. RETURN OF REFUND VALUE.
  `(a) PAYMENT BY RETAILER- If any person tenders for refund an empty
  and unbroken beverage container to a beverage retailer who sells (or has
  sold at any time during the period of 3 months ending on the date of such
  tender) the same brand of beverage in the same kind and size of container,
  the retailer shall promptly pay such person the amount of the refund value
  stated on the container.
  `(b) PAYMENT BY DISTRIBUTOR- If any person tenders for refund an empty
  and unbroken beverage container to a beverage distributor who sells (or
  has sold at any time during the period of 3 months ending on the date
  of such tender) the same brand of beverage in the same kind and size of
  container, the distributor shall promptly pay such person (1) the amount
  of the refund value stated on the container, plus (2) an amount equal to
  at least 2 cents per container to help defray the cost of handling. This
  subsection shall not preclude any person from tendering beverage containers
  to persons other than beverage distributors.
  `(c) AGREEMENTS- (1) Nothing in this subtitle shall preclude agreements
  between distributors, retailers, or other persons to establish centralized
  beverage collection centers, including centers which act as agents of
  such retailers.
  `(2) Nothing in this subtitle shall preclude agreements between beverage
  retailers, beverage distributors, or other persons for the crushing or
  bundling (or both) of beverage containers.
`SEC. 12005. ACCOUNTING FOR UNCLAIMED REFUNDS AND PROVISIONS FOR STATE
RECYCLING FUNDS.
  `(a) UNCLAIMED REFUNDS- At the end of each calendar year each beverage
  distributor shall pay to each State an amount equal to the sum by which the
  total refund value of all containers sold by the distributor for resale in
  that State during that year exceeds the total sum paid during that year
  by the distributor under section 12004(b) to persons in that State. The
  total of unclaimed refunds received by any State under this section shall
  be available to carry out pollution prevention and recycling programs in
  that State.
  `(b) REFUNDS IN EXCESS OF COLLECTIONS- If the total of payments made
  by a beverage distributor in any calendar year under section 12004(b)
  for any State exceed the total refund value of all containers sold by
  the distributor for resale in that State, the excess shall be credited
  against the amount otherwise required to be paid by the distributor to
  that State under subsection (a) for a subsequent calendar year designated
  by the beverage distributor.
`SEC. 12006. PROHIBITIONS ON DETACHABLE OPENINGS AND POST-REDEMPTION DISPOSAL.
  `(a) DETACHABLE OPENINGS- No beverage distributor or beverage retailer
  may sell, or offer for sale, in interstate commerce a beverage in a metal
  beverage container a part of which is designed to be detached in order to
  open such container.
  `(b) POST-REDEMPTION DISPOSAL- No retailer or distributor or agent of
  a retailer or distributor may dispose of any beverage container labeled
  under section 12002 or any metal, glass, or plastic from such a beverage
  container (other than the top or other seal thereof) in any landfill or
  other solid waste disposal facility.
`SEC. 12007. EXEMPTED STATES.
  `(a) IN GENERAL- The provisions of sections 12002 through 12005 and sections
  12008 and 12009 of this subtitle shall not apply in any State which--
  `(1) has adopted and implemented requirements  applicable to all beverage
  containers sold in that State which the Administrator determines to be
  substantially identical to the provisions of sections 12002 through 12005
  and sections 12008 and 12009 of this subtitle; or
  `(2) demonstrates to the Administrator that, for any period of 12 consecutive
  months following the date of the enactment of this subtitle, such State
  achieved a recycling or reuse rate for beverage containers of at least
  70 percent.
If at anytime following a determination under paragraph (2) that a State has
achieved a 70 percent recycling or reuse rate the Administrator determines
that such State has failed, for any 12-consecutive month period, to maintain
at least a 70 percent recycling or reuse rate of its beverage containers,
the Administrator shall notify such State that, upon the expiration of the
90-day period following such notification, the provisions under sections
12002 through 12005 and sections 12008 and 12009 shall be applicable to
that State until a subsequent determination is made under subparagraph (A)
or a demonstration is made under subparagraph (B).
  `(b) DETERMINATION OF TAX- No State or political subdivision which imposes
  any tax on the sale of any beverage container may impose a tax on any
  amount attributable to the refund value of such container.
  `(c) EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS- Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed
  to affect the authority of any State or political subdivision thereof to
  enact or enforce (or continue in effect) any law respecting a refund value
  on containers other than beverage containers or from regulating redemption
  and other centers which purchase empty beverage containers from beverage
  retailers, consumers, or other persons.
`SEC. 12008. REGULATIONS.
  `Not later than 12 months after the enactment of this subtitle, the
  Administrator shall prescribe regulations to carry out this subtitle. The
  regulations shall include a definition of the term `beverage retailer'
  in a case in which beverages in beverage containers are sold to consumers
  through beverage vending machines. Such regulations shall also adjust the
  10 cent amount specified in section 12002 to account for inflation. Such
  adjustment shall be effective 10 years after the enactment of this subtitle
  and additional adjustments shall take effect at 10 year intervals thereafter.
`SEC. 12009. PENALTIES.
  `Any person who violates any provision of section 12002, 12003, 12004, or
  12006 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each
  violation. Any person who violates any provision of section 12005 shall
  be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation.
`SEC. 12010. EFFECTIVE DATE.
  `Except as provided in section 12008, this subtitle shall take effect 2
  years after the date of its enactment.'.
  (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for such Act is amended by
  adding the following at the end thereof:
`SUBTITLE K--BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING
`Sec. 12001. Definitions.
`Sec. 12002. Required beverage containers labeling.
`Sec. 12003. Origination of refund value.
`Sec. 12004. Return of refund value.
`Sec. 12005. Accounting for unclaimed refunds and provisions for State
recycling funds.
`Sec. 12006. Prohibitions on detachable openings and post-redemption disposal.
`Sec. 12007. Exempted States.
`Sec. 12008. Regulations.
`Sec. 12009. Penalties.
`Sec.  12010. Effective date.'.