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Stores will not be required to accept bottles and cans during the 'statewide freeze,' but BottleDrop centers will remain open.

FILE - Plastic soda bottles sit in a bin at the Oregon City Bottle Drop in 2011.
Your local supermarket may stop accepting bottle and cans for deposit during the "statewide freeze" designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Grocers and other retailers will not be required to comply with Bottle Bill redemption requirements beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has announced.

"Retailers that choose to do so can still accept containers for redemption," the OLCC said in a release. But "if stores don't take back empty beverage containers, the OLCC will not issue them a notice of violation."

Supermarkets will be limited to 75% of approved occupancy during the freeze.

But don't expect to save a dime on that can of pop, as the 10-cent deposit will still be charged for all canned or bottled beverages, excepting liquor, wine, milk and infant formula. BottleDrop redemption centers, however, will remain open — as will BottleDrop express drop sites and Dealer Redemption Centers.

The statewide freeze will last for two weeks across all of Oregon, and twice that for at least Multnomah County. The OLCC says stores will have five days to begin re-accepting empty cans once the freeze expires in their jurisdiction.

"Consumers in communities without redemption centers should store bottles and cans until redemption services fully resume," according to the release.

Zane Sparling
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