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Bottle Bill Opponents

Opponents include...

  • Anheuser Busch
  • The Coca Cola Company
  • Pepsi-Cola Company
  • Can Manufacturers Institute
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • International Bottled Water Association
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association /
    National Food Processors Association 
  • National Grocers Association
  • American Beverage Association
* See: Bottle Bills Receive Widespread Public Support
for a comparative list of bottle bill supporters.

Bottle bill opponents include beverage container manufacturers, soft drink bottlers, beer, wine and liquor distributors and retail grocers. As ‘new age’ drink containers are targeted for inclusion in existing bottle bills, juice, sports drink and bottled water manufacturers have joined the anti-bottle bill forces. A new group of bottle bill opponents that has emerged in recent years consists of waste haulers and owners of materials recovery facilities who want the revenue from the valuable aluminum cans that are recovered through bottle bills.

A partial list of opponents of bottle bills is located to the right.

How opponents' spending keeps bottle bills "bottled up"

Huge sums of money have been spent to defeat ballot initiatives over the past twenty years, with industry opponents outspending proponents by as much as 30:1. In 1996, $3 million was spent to defeat the Measure 37 expansion initiative in Oregon.

Bottle Bill Initiative Spending Records
State Year Opponents Proponents Result
 Oregon 1996 $3.2 million $400,000 Defeated
 DC 1987 $2.2 million $80,000 Defeated
 Colorado 1982 $0.5 million $25,000 Defeated
 Ohio 1979 $1.2 million $117,000 Defeated
 Washington 1979 $1.5 million $88,855 Defeated

Bottle bills have been 'bottled up' in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress for over two decades, seldom getting to the floor for a full vote. They are generally defeated in small committees, often by a narrow margin. These defeats are due to the tremendous influence the well-funded, politically powerful beverage industry lobby wields over our elected officials.

A 1996 report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group revealed that:

  • The beverage industry spent over $14 million dollars in campaign contributions aimed at defeating the National Bottle Bill between 1989 and 1994.
  • Members of a U.S. Senate Committee who voted against the National Bottle Bill in 1992 received an average of 75 times more in anti-bottle bill PAC money than those who voted in favor of the bill.

Opponents' Arguments

Many of the arguments that opponents level against bottle bills try to minimize the bottle bills' effectiveness and maximize their costs. However, the arguments in favor of bottle bills put these industry "myths" into perspective. Read about these arguments on the Myths and Facts page.


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