Governor: All retail can open at limited capacity; bottle returns to begin

Gov. Whitmer lifts the stay-home order and says retail can reopen on a limited basis.

More mostly good news today from the governor as she issued Executive Order 2020-110, lifting the stay home requirements.

On Thursday, June 4, all Michigan retailers will be able to officially open their doors with limited capacity. The capacity limits remain the same as those adopted in Northern Michigan: 25% capacity (including employees) for stores under 50,000 square feet or 4 customers per 1,000 square feet for stores over 50,000 square feet (not including employees). Retailers that reopen should follow the same guidance and safety standards they have been doing for “by appointment” transactions as outlined in Executive Order 2020-97. (See our reopening guide here ( for an easy to follow checklist.)

Restaurants (and in-store retail seating) may open for 50% or less seating capacity that meets six feet social distancing standards starting June 8. Also allowed are outside social gatherings of up to 100 individuals provided they following social distancing guidelines. The new order also allows for local governments to adopt more strict regulations than what the Executive Order outlines. MRA will be actively tracking to see if any local ordinances or orders place stricter limits on retail. If you hear of anything in your community, please let us know.

MRA’s President and CEO, Bill Hallan, issued the following statement on the reopening news:

Bottle deposit takeback to start phasing in starting June 15

After the stay home order was lifted today, and under a notice issued by the Department of Treasury, some retailers must begin taking back bottles and cans while following strict cleanliness and social distancing guidelines. Those retailers required to start taking containers back are those with bottle return facilities located at the front of the store or housed in a separate area and serviced exclusively by reverse vending machines requiring minimal or no person-to-person contact.

In addition, retailers may, at their discretion, take any or all of the following steps:

  • Limit the number of beverage containers that may be returned by a single individual per day to a deposit refund amount of $25, pursuant to MCL 445.572(10).
  • Establish special or limited hours of operation for bottle return facilities.
  • Limit the number of available and operating reverse vending machines.
  • Periodically close bottle deposit facilities as needed for cleaning and supply management.
  • Implement such other procedures or restrictions as each retailer may determine are necessary or advisable to promote safety and/or efficiency.

During each week of Phase 1, retailers must limit the volume of weekly returned beverage containers to no more than 140% of their average weekly collection volume for the period April and May 2019. We expect Phase 1 to last for at least 4 weeks before moving into additional phases.