Examining the Bottle Bill ballot question

The state would automatically increase the fee every 5 years

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On November 4th, Massachusetts voters will decide whether to expand the current bottle deposit law.

Ballot Question 2 would add a five-cent deposit on bottled water, sports drinks, iced tea, and other non-carbonated drinks. The current state bottle deposit law charges you a five-cent deposit for carbonated drinks, like soda. If you recycle at a redemption center, the five-cent deposit fee is then returned to your wallet.

If Massachusetts residents vote yes on the bottle bill expansion, you’d be charged an extra five cents for any water bottle or soft beverage purchase that you make, and you could only get that money back if you come to a redemption center and recycle.

Fitting in a trip to the redemption center isn’t always easy, which is why many supporters say it’ll give people an incentive to fit the errand into their schedule.

Jeff Tomaino of Agawam told 22News, “I think it would be a good thing because you know, obviously it helps recycling and if you return it, you’d get your return, so I think it would be a good thing. “

But if you don’t recycle, that money will instead return to the state government, helping the state financially, but not the consumer.

Josh Picard of Ludlow said, “More recycling for everyone. If you don’t recycle yourself it’s not really doing much but if you are recycling it would help, it would be a lot better for the world too.”

According to government data, the majority of Massachusetts, nearly 60 percent, doesn’t recycle.

Charlene Dickerson of Springfield said, “A lot of people don’t recycle, and I don’t think that everyone’s going to want a five-cent deposit on water bottles.”

If Question 2 passes, the state would automatically increase the fee every 5 years, based on the rate of inflation. Some think tanks say would increase the cost of groceries by nearly $60 million a year.

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