Friday, September 07, 2007

Can and Bottle Arbitrage

Newman drinking pop so he can return empty bottles to Michigan.
Kramer and Newman en route to Michigan, to return bottles.

Seinfeld had a two-segment episode on "The Bottle Deposit," which aired in 1996, where Kramer and Newman try to take advantage of Michigan's 10 cent per bottle deposit, by driving Newman's mail truck to Saginaw, Michigan filled with empty bottles. Unfortunately, they never it made all the way to Michigan during Part 2, you can read details here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

However, about $10 million worth of empty bottles and cans do get smuggled into Michigan from Ohio and Indiana by people who cash in on Michigan's 10-cent deposit refund. Ohio and Indiana do not require a deposit on beverage containers, and returning those out-of-state bottles and cans in Michigan can turn in a small profit.

Michigan lawmakers now want to stop the smuggling by requiring beverage manufacturers to put a code on all bottles and cans that are sold in Michigan, and require that automated bottle return machines be programmed to read the Michigan-only code so they accept only containers sold in Michigan.

Read more here in the Detroit News.


At 9/07/2007 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The parallel story line in these two episodes is Elaine grossly over bidding at auction on JFK golf clubs for her boss, Mr. Peterman.

Could likely very well have been the start of a golf club bubble!

At 9/07/2007 5:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...


What the heck?!?! I thought that dude was suppose to be a stand up comic...

I had the misfortune of paying to watch him one time...


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