Debate over an expanded bottle bill in MA

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a debate 22News has been following for more than a year. 22News is working for you with reactions from both supporters and opponents of the expanded bottle bill.

Massachusetts is one of 11 states with the bottle bill. That means shoppers can bring back bottles and cans of carbonated beverages to get their deposit back. Right now, we pay extra 5 cents when we buy soda or beer.

There’s an ongoing movement in Boston right now to expand the deposit law to apply 5-cent deposits to non-carbonated drinks as well. That’s the way it is just across the stateline in Connecticut.

One woman told 22News she’s had no problem with paying extra 5 cents on water bottles.

“I think it’s a good idea because you know, you see a lot of them in trash, so I think that putting a bottle deposit on water would encourage people to bring them back rather than it going to the landfill,” said Lynn Henrich of Manchester, CT.

Opponents of the bottle bill claim doing away with bottle deposits altogether, and enhancing curb-side recycling pick up and single stream recycling is a smarter idea.

Chris Flynn, President of the Massachusetts Food Association told 22News improving curb-side pick up is a smarter idea. He said that makes recycling simple.

“You get the best participation, the easier you make it for the public to sue. To get that recycle bin and they control everything in there, then that’s going to promote more recycling,” said Flynn. “We can not only do it more effectively, but more efficiently. It costs so much less to recycle containers through municipal programs than it does to drag them back to a food store.”

Others told 22News the bottle bill is an outdated law that costs too much.

“I don’t see why people cannot just pay 5 cents for a return. They should take them back to the store or put it in a container, not throw it out the window,” said Irene Gallerani of Agawam.

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