I don't think the charges will stick, since he didn't actually return the cans and bottles. Unless there's a law against "intent to return"...
But dang, that's a whole lot of stupid in that story. Michigan shouldn't pay double the refund, and shouldn't have a law that you can't bring in bottles and cans from elsewhere. And that guy could have done something a lot more productive with his time.
Apparently it's the distributors that pick up the cans/bottles. And when they end up picking up more than they deliver, at a particular store, it's a financial loss to them since they have to pay the store for what they pick up. Of course there are margins for unforeseen cans, such as when people return their cans to a different store, or not return them at all, but people bringing stuff from out of state becomes excess.
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