Some Iowa Grocery Stores Not Taking Bottle Returns After Moratorium Lifted

DES MOINES, Iowa - Some grocery stores in Iowa are not resuming can and bottle redemption, even though a moratorium on the practice has been lifted.

Fareway stores says it will continue to suspend can and bottle returns because of health and safety concerns. Hy-Vee says some of its eastern Iowa stores have received a waiver from the state to defer returns to a regional redemption center, and not accept them at this time.

Governor Kim Reynolds' placed COVID-19 restrictions on the state's bottle and can redemption program in March over COVID-19 concerns. That restriction expired Sunday.

In a statement, Fareway said, "Allowing used containers to be returned in our stores puts our employees and customers at risk, and runs counterproductive to the many safety and sanitation initiatives we have implemented in order to keep people safe."

Even though stores are once again required to accept bottle and can returns and issue redemptions, Fareway cites health care experts in its decision against doing so. "Health authorities continue to advise that COVID-19 and other viruses are transmitted through respiratory droplets," the statement said. "Accepting potentially contaminated containers inside our stores presents a great risk of harm to the health and safety of our employees and customers."

Fareway says each store has posted a list of nearby redemption centers where customers can take bottle and can redemptions.

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