Environmentalists want to expand the state’s Bottle Bill

BOSTON (WWLP) – Environmental groups are pushing for legislation to expand the state’s Bottle Bill to include water, juice and sports drink containers. While environmentalists prefer a legislative solution, if a bill isn’t approved, they are aiming to give voters a voice.

Ken Pruitt of the Environmental League of Massachusetts said, “our coalition separately, outside of the Legislature, is mounting a ballot initiative to get this on the November 2014 ballot so that the voters in Massachusetts can directly update the bottle bill.”

The current Bottle Bill places a 5 cent refundable deposit on empty soda, beer and sparkling water container sold in the state. Opponents of the bill say that the state should expand curbside recycling instead. They argue that placing all recyclable materials in a single container is more effective.

““It costs three times as much to recycle containers through a redemption system at a store now than versus putting it out at your curbside, and if you expand it it’s going to cost even more,” said President of the Massachusetts Food Association, Chris Flynn.

State agencies say that expanding the bottle bill will save the city millions of dollars in cleanup costs and create more jobs. Those who disagree with expanding the Bottle Bill believe that more recycling containers should be made available in public places.

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