Bottle Bills in the News
Massachusetts

2011

Unbottle the Bottle Bill (Letter to the Editor)

December 14, 2011 ... I support the [Occupy Wall Street] movement, but I'm concerned that other widely supported bills are being ignored. One issue that has fallen by the wayside is the effort to update the Bottle Bill. The Lowell Sun

Four of 30 ballot questions advance
Signatures to be double-checked

December 8, 2011 ...Also withdrawn was a petition to expand the bottle bill to require deposit returns of water, sport drink and other non-carbonated drink bottles not covered by the current bottle deposit law. Telegram.com

Framingham's Bottle Bill’s shop closes

Dec 8, 2011 The owner of Bottle Bill’s has closed up shop “on strike” after complaining for years the state doesn’t pay him enough to sort recyclable bottles and cans. MetroWest Daily News

Abington St. Patrick’s parade organizer to hit charitable milestone

Dec 05, 2011 Jack Bailey expects to break the 2 million mark by the summer. That’s 2 million bottles and cans worth a cool $100,000. And it all goes to put on Abington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other town programs. EnterpriseNews.com

MIT rolling out reverse vending machines

Nov. 17, 2011 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is home to a new reverse vending machine that uses social media, real time analytics and gaming to encourage more recycling. Waste & Recycling News

More deposits mean more taxes (Letter to the Editor)

Nov 16, 2011 In Sunday's MetroWest News, there was yet another person who supports the change in the Bottle Bill ("Update the bottle bill," Nov. 13), with all good intentions, which would extend deposits required on current items to also include milk, juice, soda and many other containers which, in effect, will simply increase the cost of these products to the consumer and result in no more than an additional tax which the state knows to be the case. The MetroWest Daily News

A long bottled-up bill (Opinion)

November 13, 2011 If it wasn’t for those bleeding-heart kumbaya types, the bottled water industry would be loving life right now. After all, for years they’ve been getting away with selling people environmentally disastrous plastic bottles full of water - much of it the very same stuff consumers get nearly-free from their faucets - at astronomical markups. The Boston Globe

Wolfarth: Update the Bottle Bill (Letter to the Editor)

Nov 13, 2011 I believe that this bill would be one of many simple steps that our state could take to curb the outrageous amounts of pollution that occur every day. It's time for an update that would encompass newer products such as the various beverages that people consume every day.

Gardner right on recycling (Opinion)

November 8, 2011 There is a recent push to expand the bottle bill in Massachusetts to include noncarbonated beverage containers. As the state representative of a district where four out of five communities directly border New Hampshire, I offer caution to those in favor of this expansion. Telegram.com

Increase recycling without increasing unemployment (Opinion)

Nov 2, 2011 There is a recent push to expand the Bottle Bill in Massachusetts to include non-carbonated beverage containers. As the state representative of a district where four out of five communities directly border New Hampshire, I offer caution to those in favor of this expansion. Taunton Daily Gazette

Last-ditch effort to expand 'bottle bill'

October 28, 2011 A group of environmental advocates -- dressed as pirates, cats, and even Little Red Riding Hood -- called on Massachusetts legislators to expand the state's bottle-recycling program yesterday. Lowell Sun

Deposits may be added for water bottles
Bill would also put 5-cent deposit on juice

Oct 28 2011 Environmentally-conscious campaigners got festive, dressing up for Halloween and asking lawmakers for a "treat" this year, by passing the proposed bottle bill update. 22 News WWLP

State. Sen. Benjamin Downing mum on fate of expanded bottle bill

October 24, 2011 State Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, declined recently to predict whether the committee he co-chairs will back a bill to expand the state’s bottle recycling program. MassLive

MA Bottle Deposit Bill (Cartoon)

October 10, 2011 Dave Granlund Editorial Cartoons and Illustrations

GreenBean Recycle Turns Recycling into an Online Competition

October 17, 2011 My typical response when I discover that little recycle symbol on my soon-to-be-empty almond butter container is, "Aww man, I have to wash this sticky stuff? Ugh, I suppose that's a good thing!" I think many people can agree with me that recycling isn't exactly the most exhilarating task. With GreenBean Recycle, people may soon discover a more fun way to recycle other than the moral obligation combined with the five-cent reimbursement. Technorati

At your service in the Stratton Student Center: one Greenbean recycling machine

October 21, 2011 Zoe is the Greenbean recycling machine near the stairs on the first floor of W20. Part of a pilot program sponsored by the MIT Department of Facilities, Zoe is taking community recycling to the next level. MIT News

MA bottle bill supporters change tack

October 21, 2011 A coalition of environmental groups pushing for an expanded bottle bill in Massachusetts will abandon plans to accomplish its long-sought aim through a ballot initiative, and will instead focus its efforts on swaying the legislature to pass an update that has been languishing in committee since the summer. Resource Recycling

Bottle bill beloved (Letter to the Editor)

October 19, 2011 Where do you get the notion that people hate the bottle bill (“Ballot gets a break,” Oct. 15)? In a poll taken last January by MassINC, and a few other less scientific ones since, nearly 80 percent of those who responded were in favor of adding non-carbonated drinks to the deposit/redemption system. Boston Herald

GreenBean Recycle Turns Recycling into an Online Competition

October 17, 2011 ...I think many people can agree with me that recycling isn't exactly the most exhilarating task. With GreenBean Recycle, people may soon discover a more fun way to recycle other than the moral obligation combined with the five-cent reimbursement. Technorati

Bottle bill backers drop ballot plan
See another path in Legislature

Oct 13, 2011 Backers of a long-stalled effort to expand the state’s 30-year-old bottle recycling law by adding a 5-cent deposit to the cost of bottled waters, juices and sports drinks have abandoned their push to take the plan to the voters in 2012, advocates told the News Service on Thursday. State House News Service

Expanding Bottle Bill Will Be Costly (Letter to the Editor)

October 10, 2011 The recent op-ed by James McCaffrey (“Time To Update The Bottle Bill,” Sept. 12, 2011) ignores several important facts about the costs of expanding the state’s bottle bill — costs that greatly outweigh the benefits. This expensive proposal would have virtually no environmental impact — increasing the state’s recycling rate by a mere 0.12 percent. Worcester Business Journal

MassPirg’s blitz campaign gains support for recycling bill

October 05, 2011 In an attempt to change state legislation so water bottles, juice bottles and sports drinks have the same five-cent deposit that soda bottles, beer and other carbonated drinks have, MassPirg is currently organizing a blitz campaign to collect 2,000 signatures by 10 p.m. tonight petitioning the legislature to update the Bottle Bill. The Daily Collegian

Stoughton latest town to endorse expanded bottle bill

September 26, 2011 Deposit on bottled water, teas and sports drinks would help trim litter, Stoughton official says Selectman Cynthia Walsh says walkers in town will not find many soda or beer bottles littering its roadways, but they will find a “distressing” number of discarded water and other non-carbonated drink containers.Taunton Daily Gazette

Updated Bottle Bill Campaign Puts Spotlight on Legislature (News Release)

September 22, 2011 The Campaign for an Updated Bottle Bill announced today that they have now reached a majority of state legislators in support of an updated bottle bill. As a result, the coalition will press ahead with the pending legislative bill and forego the initiative petition process. Update the Massachusetts Bottle Bill

Creem: Let's build on success of the bottle bill (Letter to the Editor)

Sep 11, 2011 As the Senate sponsor of the Update Bottle Bill (S.1650), I want to thank Chris Flynn of the Mass Food Association for his supportive comments on increasing recycling efforts. However, he is mistaken in many of his statements regarding the new Bottle Bill, and I would like to correct them. Wicked Local Newton

Selectmen oppose expanded bottle bill legislation

September 22, 2011 LAKEVILLE — The Board of Selectmen voted last week not to support the Expanded Bottle Bill, which would spread the deposit paid on soda and beer cans to include other bottled beverages. The selectmen had been asked several times over the past year to support the bill by organizations such as the Lakeville Litter Lifters and the Open Space Committee. South Coast Today

ABOUT TOWN: Selectmen to Discuss Tax Rates, SMAC and Fortune Tellers (Opinion)

September 20, 2011 ...Finally, the evening will conclude with the 7:30 p.m. meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Chairman John Stagnone will preside over a packed agenda, which includes an attempt on the consent agenda to approve the updated Massachusetts Bottle Bill, which is billed as environmentally friendly, but is just another TAX. Stoughton Patch

Sego: Bottlers must help clean up (Letter to the Editor)

September 14, 2011 Chris Flynn, the beverage and supermarket lobbyist, is obviously confusing environmental responsibility with corporate greed. Hiding behind home-access to curbside recycling is not an example of "corporate responsibility," as Flynn wants us to think. The MetroWest Daily News

Time To Update The Bottle Bill (Opinion)

September 11, 2011 This year, the Legislature is considering an update to our container deposit system, adding beverages like bottled water, sports drinks, and juice drinks. The bottle bill, passed 30 years ago, has been our most effective program to prevent litter and is responsible for recycling 35 billion containers in Massachusetts so far. Our law has become a model for other states and nations. Worcester Business Journal

Update bottle bill (Editorial)

September 8, 2011 Let's face facts. The 5-cent deposit on carbonated bottles and cans, collected in Massachusetts since 1983, has worked. Today, 80 percent of beer and soda containers are recycled — more than twice the recycling rate for nondeposit containers. Cape Cod Times

Bottle Bill Expansion Would Be Harmful (Opinion)

August 29, 2011 At Polar Beverages, we take being a green company very seriously. ...Given our commitment to being environmentally conscious, we find proposals to expand the state’s bottle bill especially troubling. Worcester Business Journal

LETTER: Industry concerns about bottle bill are flawed (Letter to the Editor)

Aug 26, 2011 On Aug. 17, The Herald News printed a guest opinion by Chris Flynn, president of the Massachusetts Food Association, in which he opposed the expanded bottle bill. I wish to respond. The Herald News

DEP Commissioner: It’s time to update the Bottle Bill (Opinion)

August 26, 2011 Every year across Massachusetts, more than 30,000 tons of non-carbonated beverage bottles are buried in landfills, burned in waste-to-energy plants, or tossed onto our streets, parks and beaches. That’s enough plastic bottles to fill Fenway Park – from the press box to the Green Monster – five times. The Community Journal

Prominent Mass. bottling company hopes to help defeat expanded bottle bill

August 20, 2011 Worcester bottling company Polar Beverages is hoping to help defeat the latest efforts to expand the bottle bill. The proposal would add water and juice bottles and other containers to the state's five-cent return deposit program. The Republic

Polar set to fight bottle bill expansion
BOTTLER FEARS INCREASED COSTS

August 20, 2011 Polar Beverages, the local bottling company that prides itself on environmental responsibility, has found itself lined up against environmental groups from across the state as those groups try to bring the long-running debate over an expanded bottle bill into the voting booth. Telegram.com

Bottle Bill Heading to the Ballot

August 5, 2011 After 14 years before the state legislature, it looks like the updated bottle bill is headed for the ballot in November 2012. The deadline for filing ballot initiatives was this week, and bottle bill supporters submitted the paperwork to begin the process. Mass Audubon

Bottle bill advocates ready plan B

August 18, 2011 Should Massachusetts lawmakers fail to pass legislation that would expand the commonwealth's bottle bill, advocates of a broader container-deposit system are ramping up to take their case directly to voters. Resource Recycling

Expanded bottle bill would curb 'real recycling' for Massachusetts (Opinion)

August 16, 2011 While nearly every community in Massachusetts has access to recycling, there is still work to be done to improve the state’s recycling rate and reduce spending on waste. We should work harder to educate residents on best recycling practices, expand curbside recycling, and make it easier to recycle in public places. Herald News

Bottle Bill Is A Recycled Debate On Beacon Hill

August 15, 2011 It’s become a familiar question on Beacon Hill in recent years: Should the Bay State expand the bottle bill? Advocates say including non-carbonated beverage bottles in the five-cent redemption program would dramatically increase the number of bottles recycled, which in turn would cut down on waste going into landfills. Opponents are worried about what they say amounts to an extra tax on consumers — albeit one they can redeem — and are worried about the cooling effect the proposition could have on consumer spending. Worcester Business Journal

Support new bottle bill legislation (Letter to the Editor)

Aug 13, 2011 On Aug. 10, The Herald News ran a fine guest opinion by Kenneth Kimmell, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Kimmell made the point that 30,000 tons of beverage bottles are discarded annually, enough to fill Fenway Park five times. These bottles end up in landfills or are burned in waste-to-energy plants. Plastic bottles absolutely should not be incinerated. The Herald News

Let’s expand the bottle bill (Opinion)

August 12, 2011 It’s been 30 years since Massachusetts passed our Bottle Bill, diverting 35 billion containers from landfills and incinerators, saving millions of barrels of oil, creating jobs, reducing costs for cities and towns, and creating a cleaner, healthier environment. We now redeem and recycle 80 percent of bottles covered by the law, and our system has become a model for other states. NewsTelegram.com

It’s Time to Update the Bottle Bill (Opinion)

August 9, 2011 Every year across Massachusetts, more than 30,000 tons of non-carbonated beverage bottles are buried in landfills, burned in waste-to-energy plants, or tossed onto our streets, parks and beaches....It’s time for Massachusetts to update our laws to include bottled water, sports drinks, teas and other non-carbonated beverages. Canton Patch

Bottle bill incentive (Letter to the Editor)

August 8, 2011 The deposit is supposed to be an incentive for people to return the bottle (“Bottled up for years, backers of expanded recycling law eye 2012 ballot,” Aug. 4). If the buyer chooses not to return it, others will. So the buyer might lose the deposit but that choice does not make it a tax. Boston Herald

State Rep. Atkins pushes for bottle bill expansion

August 5, 2011 State Representative Cory Atkins may be on vacation this month, but she is not idle. The Democrat, whose district covers Concord, Carlisle and parts of Acton and Chelmsford, said she is maintaining her focus on expanding the bottle bill. Atkins is hoping the expanded bottle law will be voted out of committee in the fall. Boston.com

Focus on municipal waste disposal now (Letter to the Editor)

Aug 4, 2011 The front page article on Monday’s Herald News made no mention of a serious and urgent problem facing the city of Fall River and other area cities and towns. The problem is municipal waste disposal. It is the fundamental problem behind the pressure to recycle, and the reason an expanded bottle bill is under consideration. The Herald News

Bottled up for years, backers of expanded recycling law eye 2012 ballot

August 4, 2011 After years of being stalled in the Legislature, proponents of expanding the state’s bottle redemption law to include certain non-carbonated beverages have taken initial steps to secure a spot on the 2012 ballot should their effort on Beacon Hill continue to founder. Boston Herald

No downside to upping incentive to recycle (Letter to the Editor)

August 2, 2011 IN HIS July 29 op-ed piece Paul McMorrow argues that expanding deposits to water, juice, and sports drink bottles would increase prices and is inefficient compared to recycling bins. Since machines already exist for automatically collecting empties, only people who don’t bother to return theirs need pay more. The Boston Globe

Bottle bill best (Letter to the Editor)

August 2, 2011 The bottle bill is about taking responsibility for your empties so they get recycled rather than litter our landscapes and clog our landfills (“Lawmakers looking to expand bottle law,” July 19). The nickel deposit gets returned to responsible consumers and pays the homeless to pick up after the irresponsible ones. Why should our tax dollars be used to pick up after litterbugs? Boston Herald

Better bottle bill (Letter to the Editor)

August 1, 2011 A more reasonable approach to getting this trash off the streets is to earmark some of the current defaulted bottle deposits for distribution to the 351 cities and towns in a manner similar to the current local aid (“Lawmakers looking to expand bottle law,” July 19). This could be done with the specific mandate that the funds be used to purchase recycle barrels for placement within the city. Boston Herald

Legislators from Fall River, adjacent towns yet to back an expanded bottle bill

August 1, 2011 Expanding the 5-cent deposit to include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverage containers may finally have enough support to gain legislative approval after years of effort, according to supporters. Nearly half of Massachusetts cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting expansion of the state’s bottle bill — which now requires deposits only on soda and beer bottles and cans — and about 80 lawmakers are co-sponsors of such legislation. The Herald News

Bottle law: It’s about the money (Opinion)

July 29, 2011 A BILL to expand the bottle law in Massachusetts is supposed to rid landfills of plastic water bottles by slapping a five-cent deposit on the containers. It’s also supposed to pump $20 million into state coffers, as policymakers expect consumers to give up the nickel deposits on hundreds of millions of bottles every year. There’s a reason those two outcomes appear to be at odds with each other: They are. Boston.com

Consumers will pay for bottle bill (Letter to the Editor)

July 28, 2011 THE DEPARTMENT of Environmental Protection missed the point with its attempt to justify an expansion of the bottle bill (“State report offers case for expanding bottle law,’’ Metro, July 20). Our firm has estimated that expanding the law would cost stores and beverage distributors $58 million per year to achieve an increase of one-eighth of 1 percent in our recycling rate statewide - not a good investment, especially with food prices already rising. The Boston Globe

Clarks calls for expanding bottle deposit law (Opinion)

July 26, 2011 Since its enactment in 1983, the 5-cent bottle deposit has encouraged a high rate of recycling with more than 30 billion containers redeemed. Each year the Commonwealth is able to collect nearly $40 million for the general fund from unclaimed deposits on certain beer, soft drink, and other beverage containers. However, nearly 30 years later the majority of litter now comes from bottles and containers that have increased in popularity, but are not included in the current bottle bill law. Boston.com

Do we need a bigger bottle bill? (Editorial)

July 22, 2011 Recycling is a minor Massachusetts state religion. It is preached to kids from an early age, and municipalities large and small make it easy to recycle. So we question the common sense in expanding the so-called “bottle bill,” given this societal shift over the past 20 years and the shaky finances of the average family in Massachusetts. Boston Business Journal

MA close to bottle bill update?

July 22, 2011 After nearly 16 years, advocates of expanding Massachusetts' bottle bill might be within striking distance of their goal as lawmakers in the commonwealth consider legislation that would attach a deposit to many beverage containers not covered by the original measure. However, industry groups are pushing back. The state's current bottle bill places a nickel deposit on glass, plastic, metal, aluminum and other containers holding beer, carbonated soft drinks and mineral water. Passed in 1982, some are saying it's time to follow the example of other states and give it an update. Resource Recycling

Will an expanded bottle bill finally come to Mass. this year?

July 22, 2011 Advocates for adding a 5-cent deposit to bottled water, sports drinks and some other kinds of beverages believe that after years of effort, their measure finally has enough juice to gain legislative approval. PatriotLedger.com

Statewide coalition opposes bottle bill expansion, campaigns for recycling

July 21, 2011 Small businesses, unions, trade associations and citizens across Massachusetts have announced a coalition, Real Recycling for Massachusetts, in opposition to a costly and inefficient proposal that would expand the current five cent fee on soda and beer containers to include every bottle and can of 100 percent juice, juice drinks, iced tea, bottled water, flavored water, sports drinks and other beverages. Packaging Digest

Nickled to death Expanded bottle bill is about the money (Editorial)

July 21, 2011 We all favor a cleaner environment and higher rates of recycling, but a proposal to expand the state's bottle bill to require deposits on containers for water, sports drinks and other noncarbonated beverages isn't really about either. It's about bottling up more revenue for Beacon Hill to spend. Telegram.com

Opinions flow on call to expand Bay State's bottle bill

July 21, 2011 As lawmakers on Beacon Hill held a public hearing Wednesday afternoon on a bill to expand the bottle bill to non-carbonated drinks including juices and bottled water, shoppers at Stop & Shop in Lynn expressed mixed feelings on the plan. The Daily Item

Gardner rep. calls for repeal of bottle bill
Bastien says border towns lose business

July 21, 2011 The bottle bill debate was back on Beacon Hill yesterday, with a twist. While scores of legislators and environmentalists lined up again to support a proposed expansion of the bottle bill to include deposits on water and sports drink containers, state Rep. Richard Bastien, R-Gardner, called for the bottle bill to be repealed. Telegram.com

US group opposes ‘ineffective bottle bill’ expansion

July 20, 2011 A Massachusetts coalition, Real Recycling for Massachusetts, opposes what it claims is a costly and inefficient proposal that would expand the current 5¢ fee on soda and beer containers to include other drink containers. The coalition claims that expanding the bottle bill would cost retailers, grocers and beverage companies millions of dollars per year in operating costs, causing the cost of beverage containers to increase. Foodbev.com

Bottle bill expansion stirs debate

Jul 20, 2011 An advocate for the supermarket and grocery industry argued Wednesday that an effort to drive up recycling rates by adding a 5-cent deposit to non-carbonated beverage bottles amounts, essentially, to bribery. 22 WWLP

State report offers case for expanding bottle law
Used by N.H., Maine to compare costs

July 20, 2011 Assertions by critics that expanding the bottle law would cost $116 million a year are “inflated’’ and “debunked by objective facts,’’ according to a report by state officials comparing redemption laws in Massachusetts and neighboring states. “There appears to be no evidence to support claims that updating the Massachusetts [bottle law] will result in increased costs or reduced consumer choices,’’ the authors wrote in the report, which is to be released today by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Boston Globe

Bottle bill hurts recycling (Opinion)

July 20, 2011 Crosby's Marketplace is a proud member of the North Shore community and we try hard to be a good citizen and operate a business our customers enjoy and are proud of. ...I am asking citizens to examine the facts before supporting expansion of the bottle bill, a matter currently before the Legislature. The Salem News

MassDEP Commissioner Testifies in Favor of Bottle Bill Expansion Bottle Deposit Law Update Will Reduce Litter, Increase Recycling, Save Communities Money (Press Release)

July 20, 2011 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell testified today at a hearing on the Bottle Bill that an expansion of the bottle deposit law will significantly increase recycling rates, greatly reduce litter in the environment, and help communities save millions of dollars in disposal costs. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Mass. lawmakers consider deposits on more drinks

July 18, 2011 Massachusetts lawmakers are considering updates to the state's bottle bill that would expand deposit fees to non-carbonated beverages and redirect unclaimed deposits to help fund local recycling programs. Over a dozen bills proposing changes to the state's 30-year-old container deposit system are set to be heard before a legislative committee Wednesday, including one that would place deposit fees on nearly all beverages, including water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. Associated Press

Reuse Water Bottles (Letter to the Editor)

July 10, 2011 Were you at the “Picnic in the Park” on July 4? ConcordCAN was there, working with the Concord Water Department to help launch Concordʼs new campaign to promote Concordʼs healthy, well-regulated tap water and discourage the purchase and sale of water sold in single-serve plastic bottles. Concord Patch

Survey: Do you support expanding the Bottle Bill?

July 06, 2011 LEICESTER, Mass. — With a 3-2 vote, Selectmen voted down the motion not to endorse the pending legislation that seeks to expand the bottle bill to include a returnable 5¢ deposit on water bottles, sports drinks and other similar beverage containers, after a survey indicated that a sampling of Leicester residents supported the change. The Daily Leicester

Getting smarter about solid waste (Opinion)

June 29, 2011 In May, the Cape Cod Commission helped convene a "Smarter Cape" Summit to promote more intelligent resource management and economic development strategies...Local communities should...support passage of an expanded bottle bill and "extended producer responsibility" legislation engaging manufacturers in reducing waste and increasing recycling. Cape Cod Times

 

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