BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In an effort to curb the the spread of coronavirus, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the state's Attorney General's office have announced the temporary suspension of bottle redemption regulations.
Under the suspension, consumers will no longer be able to redeem containers that carry the 5-cent deposit mark. The decision was made "out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts" MassDEP said in a press release Wednesday, and is effective immediately.
"This action is being taken because many grocers, supermarkets, and other retail operations have indicated that they are overwhelmed with an unprecedented volume of customers purchasing provisions," the department said. "Temporarily suspending enforcement of these requirements will allow individual retailers to assess their operations and, if necessary and appropriate, shift staffing to enable smoother operations. This action will also limit any contamination that potentially could occur from staff handling used beverage containers."
Residents with bottles to turn in are being encouraged to hold onto their redeemable items until the suspension is lifted.
Anyone with questions can contact MassDEP's Bottle Bill hotline at 617-556-1054.
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced 38 new cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, bringing the state's total to 256.
(Photo: Getty Images)