Senate backs expansion of bottle deposit law

BOSTON (AP) — Advocates for an expanded bottle bill in Massachusetts are praising a Senate vote to expand the nickel deposit law to include bottled water and other non-carbonated beverages.

The measure was approved as an amendment to the state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Supporters of the effort to update the three decade old law are gathering signatures to put it before voters in November if the Legislature doesn’t act first.

The Senate has voted in the past to expand the law to cover beverages such as bottled water and sports drinks, but the measure has not advanced in the House.

Backers say it will reduce litter and encourage more recycling, but critics say it will hurt small businesses that would be forced to handle increased bottle returns.

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