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May 15, 2005

Letter to the Editor

Bottle bill does reduce roadside trash

To the Editor:

Bottlebills (''A Deposit on Water Bottles: Clear Contents, Murky Issue,'' April 24) have a positive impact on the reduction of roadside trash and the amount of materials submitted for recycling.

Bottlebills reduce litter and pickup/disposal costs and conserve natural resources as recycling uses less energy than making the product from virgin materials.

Travel to a nondeposit state and the litter difference is immediately obvious. The bottle-bill enhancement being proposed to include water bottles is not intended to take plastics out of the blue bin, it is needed to take plastic bottles out of the trash bin and off the side of our roads.

There is currently a huge problem in the industries that use recycled polyethylene terephthalate as their raw material (the carpet and beverage container industries being the largest) as the need is far greater than the material available.

We must support these industries if we are to close the loop between recycling and new products. If that means agencies like Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, which rely on the current lucrative plastic market for a large portion of their income should get some reimbursement from the unclaimed deposit account (which is around $25 million and all currently going into the Connecticut bottlers' and distributors' pockets), then so be it.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, thus far in 2005, 42 billion beverage cans and bottles have been put in landfills, discarded as litter or incinerated in the United States. It's time, way past time, to do something.

Constance Melvin Darien



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