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March 15, 2011

Morning Sentinel
Letter to the Editor

Only beverage distributors want bottle bill repealed

It is hard to even imagine that any of the elected leaders and legislators in our environmentally conscious state would consider proposing legislation that could destroy advances made throughout the years toward improving and safekeeping our environment.

It is, however, happening right now. Currently, state representatives have submitted at least 50 proposals that will negatively affect our environment and the way we live. Five proposals suggest elimination or reduction of Maine's returnable beverage container law.

Our bottle bill has been in place successfully for 35 years and has helped Maine remain a cleaner, environmentally responsible state. Ninety percent of all beverage containers sold in our state get recycled, reducing the impact to landfills and transfer stations in every municipality.

Redemption centers provide a valuable service to every community and, in some ways, help keep local taxes down. These centers process, handle and store the beverage containers, so municipalities don't have to deal with them at local transfer and landfill facilities.

These legislative proposals are on the table in Augusta, not because of anything we the people of Maine might want, but because of what the Maine Beverage Associations (the distributors) want.

They don't want to deal with recycling any more, claiming it's too costly for them. Instead they wish to pass the cost of being environmentally responsible for what they bring in and sell in our state back onto us.

There is always a certain responsibility and cost of doing business involved with any business enterprise, and certainly the beverage industry has the means to absorb the costs of helping our environment. We all do it on a daily basis in our own lives.

Maine residents should contact their state representatives and senators and voice their support of Maine's current bottle bill.

Paul F. Coburn

Old Mill Redemption Center



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