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California Fines CVS Pharmacy $3.6 Mln For Failing To Redeem Recycling

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California state fined pharmacy health care provider CVS pharmacy $3.6 million in an enforcement action for failing to redeem recycling of beverage containers.

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, announced that some of CVS locations failed to offer California Redemption Value or CRV for recyclable bottles and cans.

In the United States, California joins other nine states with a deposit-refund system for beverage containers. For bottles up to 24 ounces, the consumers in the state pay an extra 5 cents, while the payment is 10 cents for bottles more than 24 ounces.

As per the state beverage container recycling law, supermarkets without a recycling center within a half-mile radius redeem CRV beverage containers or pay the $100 daily fee.

CalRecycle last week filed the enforcement action. As per the state agency's investigation, 81 of CVS Pharmacy's 848 retail stores failed to offer CRV for recyclable bottles and cans.

The action seeks to recover $1.8 million combining $100 per day fees from those 81 stores by the end of October. The fine also includes $1.8 million in civil penalties.

CVS can now challenge the fine, which is said to be the largest action ever against a retailer for failing to redeem cans and bottles.

Jared Blumenfeld, California's secretary for Environmental Protection, was quoted as saying, "the goal is to send a message that the state will hold retailers accountable for refunding consumers their nickel and dime recycling deposits."

In the state, majority of supermarkets are failing to follow the law as many recycling companies have closed due to increased costs of operations and weak prices for recycled aluminum and PET plastic. Recently, RePlanet, California's largest recycling center, closed all its locations.

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