Just this morning, I pointed to our garage and told my lovely wife, "Guess I'll have to take those bottles and cans in at some point." Looks like it'll be a while.

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According to a press release, the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, Midwest Independent Retailers Association and Michigan Retailers Association are advising Michigan retailers to "no longer accept empty containers of beer, wine and soda" during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Their joint statement reads:

“The health, safety and well-being of our employees and their families is our top priority. Beginning Tuesday, March 24, in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21, The Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Midwest Independent Retailers Association and Michigan Retailers Association are advising Michigan retailers to no longer accept empty containers of beer, wine and soda and distributors of those beverages to no longer accept or collect the containers. Several other states, including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont, have done the same. 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.”

 

There's no information at this time about how many retailers are following (or not following) their advice.

Looks like I'll be cashing in - later.

UPDATE: As of this afternoon, according to WILX-TV, Meijer stores are suspending bottle and can returns in Michigan. Here's the story.