Voters may get to decide bottle bill expansion

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Expanding the bottle bill. It could be up to you to decide if its a good idea.

There’s a push in the state legislature, but if state lawmakers can’t come up with a compromise plan, you could see the question on your election ballot in the fall.

The proposal would add a 5-cent deposit onto all non-carboated, non-alcoholic drinks except for dairy.

Juice and water bottles that don’t have a cash deposit value are often put into bins to be recycled later. One person told 22News that because there is no incentive to recycle these bottles, they are often thrown out of car windows and end up as little on the side of the road.

“Instead of getting annoyed every time I went buy it, I would get annoyed once and pick it up. So every time we go around the block we find more and a significant portion of that is water and juice bottles,” said Tom Hanley of Florence.

Hanley favors going up to a 25-cent deposit. He says he thinks expanding the bottle bill would encourage recycling.

But others like Sylvie Buzzee of Westhampton disagree.

“No. We’re spending enough as it is. We don’t need any more taxes or anything else. Just leave us alone,” said Buzzee.

Pamela Ferrechio of Easthampton told 22News expanding the bottle bill may also help the homeless and people who rummage for cans.

“Perhaps you could put it out on the curb and have them pick it up and organize and donate it. I think that would be a productive use of the money.”

Supporters of the proposal say it would get more people to recycle. Those who oppose it say it would increase costs for beverage distributors that would be passed down to consumers.

In order for the issue to make it on the fall ballot, signatures need to be submitted to the Secretary of State by early July.

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