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Report: #1532826

Complaint Review: Imperial Fresh Markets - Detroit Michigan

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  • Reported By: Anonymous — United States
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  • Imperial Fresh Markets 5800 Caniff St Detroit, Michigan United States

Imperial Fresh Markets Failure To Implement Bottle Return Laws Detroit Michigan

*General Comment: Dumb

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The Michigan Beverage Container Act ("the Bottle Bill”) was initiated into law in 1976 in order to reduce litter, conserve resources, and improve the environment. The Act states in part: “(10) A dealer may accept, but is not required to accept, from a person, empty returnable containers for a refund in excess of $25.00 on any given day.”

In early 2020, due to Covid, the State of Michigan temporarily suspended the law but reinstated it fully on October of 2020.

In 2021, the State of Michigan, Department of the Environment reported bottle returns had still failed to recover and remained nearly 25% below near perfect return rates in pre-Covid years.  The dismal return rate prompted the State of Michigan to issued a “Notice Regarding Bottle Deposit Return Program” on June 29, 2021. That notice states:

"...all beverage retailers are required by law to provide a convenient means for customers to return to the retailer, for deposit refund, returnable containers of any kind, size, and brand offered for sale by the retailer, whether or not a particular container was sold by that retailer.  "Convenient" means convenient to customers.  Accordingly, retailers may not:

Close their bottle return facilities and refuse to accept returnable containers;

Refuse to accept any returnable container of a kind, size, or brand offered for sale by that retailer;

Severely restrict operational hours of bottle return facilities or impose other restrictions on returns that would have the effect of impeding bottle returns provided for under the Beverage Container Deposit Law."


The bottle return laws require individuals, manufactures, and sellers to join in a combined effort. I believe the proverbial wrench in the gears in getting bottle refund percentages up to where they had been in years past is due to the failure of sellers to provide adequate and sometimes any bottle return services. 

On numerous occasions I’ve attempted to return bottles at Imperial Fresh Markets, located at 5800 Caniff St, Detroit Mi 48212, and could not because their machines were closed and on most occasions, but not all, this store would not provide bottle return services at their Customer Service counter. On June 02, 2024, a bit after 11 AM I tried to return bottles at Imperial Fresh Market and once again the machines were closed and the Customer Service counter clerk refused to refund $10.80 worth of returns.  Frustrated by this grocer's long running dismal bottle return services I informed the clerk I’d be filing a report with the State of Michigan. I snapped a few photos of the store including a photo of a sign posted on the store's bottle return machines to evidence the store's failure to comply with the law. The sign indicates the store's violation of the The Michigan Beverage Container Act requirements in both the amount of bottles Imperial Fresh Market will accept and the available hours they provide bottle return services. The sign states: "Bottle and Can Return Hours | 10 AM - 3 PM | Subject to Change | Limit $20 Per Day | Thank You!" 

Further violations of the bottle return law by Imperial Fresh Markets were made apparent during interactions with Imperial Fresh Market employees. While snapping photos, the store manager approached me and stated the store was not refusing to accept bottle returns because I could come the following day and return bottles at the machine. I pointed out the inconvenience and asked again if the store would provide bottle return services at the Customer Service counter since the machines were closed. The manager asked if I’d purchased the items at that store. Although perplexed by his question, I acknowledged that I’d purchased some of the items at that location but not all. He then asked me to produce a receipt showing which items I’d purchased from that store. With the absurdity of his request, I asked one last time if Imperial Fresh Markets would provide bottle return services at the Customer Service counter and he again informed me that I could come back the following day and use the machine. I informed him of the report I’d be filing with the State of Michigan and left the store in disbelief.

Others who would like to report a business for failure or refusal to reduce litter in our communities, conserve our natural resources, and improve our environment due to non-compliance of The Michigan Beverage Container Act can take less than two minutes to complete an online form reporting the violation at Help keep Michigan a "Winter-Water Wonderland" and report businesses that are leaving us adrift in a sea of bottles!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/04/2024 02:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 General Comment


AUTHOR: Flint - (United States)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

 Bottle bills are stupid, especially when everyone has access to curbside recycling. The state considers it a tax and couldn't care less if you can't get your refund back. The fewer people return their bottles, the more money they get to keep. For the stores, it's a total nuisance because they have to spend money they don't have to administer this dumb and inefficient program, and on top of everything it attracts bums and other undesirables. And most people have better things to do than store and lug around trash bags full of heavy, smelly glass bottles or cans just to get $20 back. Your time has to be worth literally nothing for this to make economic sense. Given the relatively small fines and the lack of enforcement, don't hold your breath for anything to change. Your efforts would be better spent convincing the legislature to repeal this dumb program.

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