Updating the Bottle Bill
With only 23% of non-deposit containers recycled versus 80% of deposit containers, the Bottle Bill is the most effective recycling program in Massachusetts.
Stop Litter, Increase Recycling
For over a decade, MASSPIRG and a large and diverse coalition have been calling for an update of the Bottle Bill. After the more than $9 million spent by bottlers and the waste industry defeated this proposal on the November 2014 ballot, we still believe it sets the standard for effective recycling programs and are organizing support for a new bill (H.2875/S.1752), sponsored by Representative Gloria Fox (Boston) and Senator Cynthia Creem (Newton), that aims to increase the recylcing rates of all beverage containers to the high level of deposit containers.
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- Provides for a six-year waiting period to see if the alternative recycling methods proposed by the bottling industry have succeeded. As of 2013, 80% of containers with a deposit were recycled, but only 23% of containers without a deposit (like water bottles and sports drinks) were recycled.
- If, after six years, that 23%, as tracked by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) doesn’t get within five percentage points of 80%, container deposits will be enacted for water bottles and sports drinks.
WHY THE BILL IS IMPORTANT
If we passed a bottle bill update, it would:
- Save cities and towns $7 million a year in litter pick-up and trash disposal, resulting in cleaner streets and parks.
- Save energy and oil from being wasted. It takes 50 million barrels of oil to produce PET water bottles for the US alone.
- Create jobs! A 2012 report by MASSPIRG and the Sierra Club estimated that 1,500 jobs would be created by updating the bottle bill.
BOTTLE BILL FACTS
- In Massachusetts, beverage containers compose 15.2% of solid waste by volume.
- Container deposit laws have been shown to decrease beverage container litter by over 80% and decrease total litter by over 40%.
- Transparency is fundamental to a thriving, participatory democracy.
- Returning our democracy to the principle of "one person, one vote."
- Looking out for consumers, from bank fees to toxic toys.
- Working to shut down Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
- Holding Wall Street accountable for their bad behavior.
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