Friday, November 27, 2009
Selectmen support expanded Bottle Bill
Acting on recommendations of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWV), and the Carlisle Energy Task Force, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) on November 10 voted unanimously to approve and sign a “Resolution in Support of Updating the Massachusetts Bottle Bill.” In arriving at the decision to support the bill (H3515/S1480 – An Act to Improve Recycling Rates in the Commonwealth), the Selectmen reviewed material submitted by the LWV and the Energy Task Force:
• The original bottle bill, enacted in 1982, does not take into account beverages such as bottled water, sports drinks and teas. These did not exist in ready-to-drink containers but now represent one-third of the 3.5 billion beverage containers sold annually in Massachusetts.
• Deposit containers in the Commonwealth are still showing a healthy 69% rate of return after 27 years. Updating the bottle bill will mean an estimated 18,000 tons of new containers annually will be redeemed for deposit rather than be thrown in the trash, saving landfill space, pollution from incineration, and transportation costs.
• After conducting a series of clean-ups across the state, Mass Riverways found that it is over 12 times more likely that a non-deposit container will end up littering our waterways than will a deposit container.
• The vast majority of the containers that would be covered under the update are made of PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate), which is made of 99% petroleum. Recycled PET is primarily used for carpeting, upholstery, and Polartec-type fleece products.
• The bill will provide additional state revenue. An estimated $15 - $20 million will be added annually to the unredeemed Deposit Fund that reverts to the Commonwealth.
• An expanded container deposit system has been successfully implemented in other states – Maine, Connecticut, New York, California, and Hawaii.
• As of October 22, there were 103 other Massachusetts cities and towns on record to support the bill. ∆
© 2009 The