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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XV REGULATION OF TRADE
  • CHAPTER 94 INSPECTION AND SALE OF FOOD, DRUGS AND VARIOUS ARTICLES
  • Section 323 Return of container; refund; refusal to accept container

Section 323. (a) Every consumer shall deposit with the dealer the refund value of each beverage container purchased from that dealer.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (f), a dealer shall accept from any person during his business hours any empty beverage container of the type, size and brand sold by the dealer within the past sixty days and shall pay that person the refund value of each beverage container returned.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (f), a distributor shall accept from any dealer any empty beverage container of the type, size and brand sold by the distributor within the past sixty days and shall pay the dealer the refund value of the beverage container plus a handling fee of at least one cent per container if the empty beverage container is presented at the time of and at the location at which the dealer obtains filled beverage containers from the distributor.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (f), a bottler shall accept from a distributor or a dealer any empty reuseable beverage container of the type, size, and brand sold by the bottler within the past sixty days and shall pay the distributor or dealer the refund value of the reuseable beverage container plus a handling fee of at least one cent per container if the empty reuseable beverage container is presented at the time and at the location where the distributor or dealer obtains filled reuseable beverage containers from the bottler; provided, however, that a bottler other than a bottler of soft drinks manufacturing in the commonwealth who offers to refund deposits in accordance with this section, shall not require a distributor to deposit with the bottler the refund value of a beverage container which is not reuseable, nor shall a bottler require of a distributor that beverage containers which are not reuseable, be presented to the bottler at the location where the distributor obtains filled beverage containers.

(e) Any person may establish a redemption center and shall have the right to determine what type, size and brand of beverage container shall be accepted. Except as provided in paragraph (f), a distributor shall take from any redemption center any empty beverage container of the type, size and brand sold by the distributor within the past sixty days and shall pay the redemption center the refund value of the container plus a handling fee of at least one cent per container.

(f) A dealer, distributor, redemption center or bottler may refuse to accept any beverage container which contains material foreign to the normal contents of the container.

(g) Any bottler or distributor who receives deposits and/or handling charges under this chapter shall segregate said deposits or handling charges in a fund which shall be maintained separately from all other revenues. Said bottler or distributor shall report on a monthly basis to the alcoholic beverage control commission in a manner prescribed by said commission, the amount of said deposits or handling charges received and the amount refunded.

(h) Any bottler or distributor who is subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c), (d) or (e) shall maintain a separate account to be known as the Deposit Transaction Fund. Said fund shall be kept separate from all other revenues and accounts. Each bottler or distributor shall place in said fund the refund value for all non-reusable beverage containers it sells subject to the provisions of this chapter.

Except as specified in section three hundred and twenty-three D, amounts in such fund may only be expended to pay refund values paid after December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine for returned non-reusable beverage containers pursuant to paragraphs (c), (d) and (e). Amounts in such fund shall not be used to pay the handling fees required by paragraphs (c), (d) and (e). Each such fund shall be maintained by said bottlers and distributors on behalf of consumers who have purchased refundable non-reusable beverage containers and on behalf of the commonwealth; except as specified in section three hundred and twenty-three C, for no purpose are amounts in such fund to be regarded as income of said bottlers or distributors.

(i) The obligations to accept or take empty beverage containers and to pay the refund value and handling fees for such containers as described in paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall apply only to containers originally sold in the commonwealth as filled beverage containers. Any person who tenders to a dealer, distributor, redemption center or bottler more than ten cases of twenty-four empty beverage containers each, which he knows or has reason to know were not originally sold in the commonwealth as filled beverage containers, for the purpose of obtaining a refund value or handling fee, shall be subject to the enforcement action and civil penalties set forth in section three hundred and twenty-seven. For the purpose of this section and section three hundred and twenty-seven, the term person shall include any individual, partnership, corporation, or other combination or entity.