SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Environmentalists proposed expanding the state’s 30-year-old bottle bill, which places a 5-cent refundable deposit on empty soda, beer and sparkling water containers.
Although paying an extra 5-cents for your water bottle may not seem like much, 22News found people with very strong opinions on the idea.
“It seems to be working. You cash them in and the people who don’t cash them in pick them up and make a couple bucks off it so I don’t see a big deal expanding it to water bottles,” said Skip Hochreich of West Springfield.
By adding water, juice and sport drink bottles to the mix, some say it could actually help create more jobs, especially at deposit facilities.
“Springfield needs work. We need anything to bring work for the younger ones coming up. A job is a job,” said William Taylor of Springfield.
Some residents told 22News they think the new legislation would help keep water bottles off the street, which could help the environment.
“I hate littering. It drives me crazy. I see someone throw something out of the car I freak out ,” said Hochreich.
But would a 5 cent return really stop someone from littering?
“I just think that if people are going to throw a bottle or throw a can then the nickel isn’t really going to prevent them from littering,” said Stephen Larrow of South Hadley.
The Mass Food Association estimates it costs three times as much to recycle through store redemption versus recycling yourself.
“I think that’s just putting the burden on the business person as well as the consumer. It’s not necessary,” said Paul Bisesti of Longmeadow.
If the new law is passed, business that sell water bottles or sport drinks would be required to collect the bottles back for redemption.