Saturday, October 4, 2014

Question 2 Expanding the Bottle Bill


We need to stop litter and keep Massachusetts clean.
A YES vote on Question 2 will do that by finally updating a successful 32-year-old law (the 1982 “Bottle Bill”) to include five cent deposits on water bottles, iced tea bottles, and sports drinks. Here are the facts about Question 2:
  • A recent Boston Globe poll documented 62% public support for updating the bottle bill. Many local and state environmental and civic organizations are leading the charge on Yes on 2, including Sierra Club, Mass Audubon, Environmental League of Massachusetts, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, and MASSPIRG. The Updated Bottle Bill has been endorsed by 400 small businesses, and 209 cities and towns passed resolutions in favor of it.
  • Currently, 80% of bottles and cans with a deposit on them are recycled, while only 23% of containers without a deposit are recycled. The rest of those containers become litter or end up in landfills and incinerators.
  • When we began returning bottles for a deposit over 30 years ago, soda and beer bottles and cans were the litter problem. Beverages like bottled water, sports drinks, and iced teas were not widely on the market. We need to update the bill so more beverage containers will be recycled rather than ending up as litter.
  • The updated Bottle Bill will save our cities and towns approximately $6.7 million a year—or an average of $1 per person in our state–in litter pick up and trash disposal costs. You can find those figures in the Department of Environmental Protection’s study here. It also will mean less waste going to landfills and incinerators. And any unclaimed deposits will go to a state fund earmarked for recycling and environmental purposes.
  • While YES on 2 has huge public support, corporations that make big profits selling water and sports drinks have been working to block the measure for years. They’ve already put in $5.5 million dollars to defeat Question 2. Among those against this bill in the Legislature: Coca-Cola, Polar Beverages, Ocean Spray, and others.

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