March 24, 2008
Senator hopes bottle bill will spur recycling
By Therese Hart
SEN. Tina Muna Barnes (D-Mangilao) is hopeful that the "bottle bill" she introduced recently would promote recycling and reduce litter on our island.
Barnes said that senators have tried for years to enact a bottle bill but until recently the military has not cooperated.
"The military has finally acknowledged that they should find a way to work with our community. Admiral French and General Owens have been very helpful and have instructed their JAG officers to find a way to make this work," Barnes said.
The bottle bill requires buyers to pay deposits on beverage containers and consumers can get most of their deposit back by returning the container to a redemption center.
Barnes said bottle bills are being considered by states all across the country.
Today, bottle bills include all forms of recyclable beverage and containers, from aluminum to plastic to glass.
Some states have an 80 percent success rate in reducing litter, Barnes said.
"Even Kosrae, Kiribati and Palau have bottle bills and they are very effective. People will go out of their way to find discarded aluminum cans and plastic bottles. It's a great way to clean up the environment, because beverage containers make up 50 percent of litter," Barnes said.