It’s going to be at least another month before markets and grocery stores will be taking your returned cans and bottles.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Thursday that it will not enforce the requirement that groceries and markets accept the empty beverage containers through May 31. The OLCC said it extended the non-enforcement of the requirements “in light of continuing pandemic-related operational concerns for grocers and supermarkets.”

“The temporary period of non-enforcement began March 15 at a time when grocers and supermarkets were overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of customers attempting to purchase provisions so they could stay home to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus,” the OLCC said in a news release explaining the decision. “The temporary suspension has been extended twice amid continuation of these concerns, and because the lack of cleaning supplies and requirements to meet social distancing directives continue to be challenges faced by grocers and supermarkets.”

There is no mandate that retailers close or refuse containers. If retailers choose to do so during this temporary period of non-enforcement, they will not be penalized. Eligible beverage containers in Oregon are still worth 10 cents, even if stores choose not to accept them at this time, the OLCC said. That means a deposit may still be charged on the purchase of all eligible beverage containers.

BottleDrop redemption centers operated by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative will remain open. The OLCC said it will continue to monitor the effects of this action and the impact on the grocery industry.

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