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December 26, 2008

Guam Pacific Daily News
Letter to the Editor

Why has the bottle bill not been made law?

What ever happened to the bottle bill?

In April of this year, there was a public hearing on Bill 244, "The Bottle Bill," which would place a 5-cent refundable deposit on beverage containers. Members of the community and representatives of the Recycling Association of Guam testified in favor of this bill, which was introduced by Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes, while representatives of the beverage industry opposed this bill for their own selfish reasons.

One of their reasons was that it might have a negative impact on their "I-recycle" program. However, that redemption rate is only about less than 2 percent while in Hawaii, which does have a bottle bill, the redemption rate is about 70 percent. The 5-cent redemption value should actually benefit the I-recycle program.

A bottle bill would also greatly reduce the amount of litter, reduce the amount of trash going to the dump and, most importantly, would increase recycling, which would help to reduce climate change, as making new products from recycled materials significantly reduces energy use.

So this would be a win-win-win situation.

A similar bill was also introduced during the 27th legislature and several times before, but always seems to be put on the back burner and then quietly disappears.

Could there be a hidden agenda to make this bottle bill disappear? Muña-Barnes felt at the time she had the majority of support by the current senators to have this bill passed. However, about eight months have elapsed without this bill being voted on.

What happened to it?




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