A lot of people were carrying big bags and boxes to area food and beverage retailers yesterday. No doubt it will be a repeat scene today. And we’ll probably see this happening for another week or more. One of the most recent Executive Orders from Governor Gretchen Whitmer allows retailers to begin processing bottle deposits again. And still, a full week after the ban on bottle and can returns for deposit refunds was lifted, long lines persist.

Some retailers jumped the gun. Some had been taking bottles and cans back for deposits for some time. Others like retail giant Meijer began allowing some of its stores to take bottles and cans back a week before the ban was lifted last Monday. But the majority are in some fashion started back up this past week following the end of the ban. Some estimates figure close to 100 million dollars in unreturned bottle and can deposits were being held by the retailers statewide. Meijer has some new rules in place, at least for a while, including a $25.00 limit on returns per visit. And you must wear a face mask in the enclosed bottle return areas. Small retailers who don’t have automated systems are facing the biggest task since many must rely on staff to personally count and sort returns. If you plan to take bottles and cans back anywhere, you might think about setting aside some extra time for that since you may have to stand in line.

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