Definitions Related to Beverage Distributors & Manufacturers

The following terms are used to describe Distributor and Beverage Manufacturer responsibilities:


As defined by the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, includes any of the following products in liquid, ready-to-drink form that are intended for human consumption: Beer and malt beverages; wine and distilled spirit coolers; carbonated fruit drinks; noncarbonated fruit drinks that contain any percentage of fruit juice; carbonated water, including soda and carbonated mineral water; coffee and tea beverages; vegetable juice in containers 16 ounces or less; noncarbonated water, including noncarbonated mineral water; carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and “sport” drinks. “Beverage” does not include the following: Wine, or wine from which alcohol has been removed, in whole or part, whether or not sparkling or carbonated; one hundred percent fruit juice in containers 46 ounces or more; milk, medical food, or infant formula; any product sold in a container that is not an aluminum beverage container, a glass beverage container, a plastic beverage container, a bimetal beverage container, or a plastic pouch beverage container with a non-plastic lining; any beverage container product type that is not specifically included by the Act.

Beverage Container

Means the individual, separate bottle, can, jar, carton, or other receptacle, however denominated, in which a beverage is sold, and which is constructed of metal, glass, or plastic, or other material, or any combination of these materials. Beverage container does not include cups or other similar open or loosely sealed receptacles.

Clearly and Prominently

Means that the redemption message is displayed so that it is easily found and read by consumers and recyclers. Each letter comprising the message is complete, legible, and cannot be readily obscured. Other factors include boldness, width, spacing, and location of lettering. The message must be distinguishable from refund messages of other states.

Contrasting Colors

As used in reference to the redemption message lettering, means a clear differentiation in hue, value, and intensity with the background on which the redemption message appears, surrounding artwork, and other nearby printed information.


Means any person to whom something, especially goods, is handed over or, delivered.


Means every person who purchases a beverage (for his/her own consumption) in a beverage container from a dealer. “Consumer” includes, but is not limited to, a lodging, eating, or drinking establishment, and soft drink vending machines (PRC, Section 14508).


Is defined as a retail establishment that offers the sale of beverages in beverage containers to consumers. However, any lodging, eating, or drinking establishment, or soft drink vending machine operator who engages in the sale of beverages in beverage containers to consumers shall not be deemed a dealer for purposes of this division, except that these sales are subject to redemption payments under PRC 14560 (PRC, Section 14510).


Is defined as the act of sending a filled or unfilled empty beverage containers or empty beverage container components permanently out of this state.


Means the act of bringing into this state a filled or unfilled empty beverage container or empty beverage container component.


Means that the redemption message is permanently affixed on the beverage container from the point of purchase until the point of redemption and cannot be smeared or removed during regular use.

Minimum Lettering Size

Is applicable to the height of all the letters in the redemption message.

Processing Fee

Means the amount paid by beverage manufacturers to CalRecycle, pursuant to Section 14575.

Redemption Payment

Means the minimum amount paid by a distributor to CalRecycle for every beverage container sold or transferred to a dealer.

Wine and Distilled Spirit Coolers
Are defined as a beverage containing wine or distilled spirits to which is added concentrated or unconcentrated juice or flavoring material and containing not more than 7 percent alcohol by volume.