The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has issued a $3.6m fine to CVS Health for failing to redeem recycling deposits.

According to the Californian beverage container recycling law, retailers located in ‘convenience zones’ and not served by a recycling centre are required to redeem California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage containers in store or pay $100 fee for not redeeming.

CalRecycle investigation discovered that 81 of the CVS Pharmacy’s 848 retail stores in the state did not pay the fee.

The fine includes $1.8m in $100-a-day fee as of 31 October and an additional $1.8m in $100-a-day civil penalties.

The initiative is part of the state’s aim to support recycling and ensure convenient recycling options are available to consumers.

As part of the enforcement action against CVS, the retail chain is entitled to an evidentiary hearing presided over by a hearing officer or administrative law judge.

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CalRecycle director Scott Smithline said: “California has one of the highest recycling rates in the nation because of our shared commitment to the environment.

“Retailers face financial consequences if they do not fulfil their legal takeback requirements. This $3.6m action is part of our ongoing enforcement of the bottles and cans program that includes intensified inspection efforts and ongoing recycling fraud crackdowns.”

The state aims to recycle 18 billion bottles and cans by the end of the year. Since the enactment of California’s Bottle Bill in 1986, approximately 400 billion beverage containers have been recycled.