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May 31, 2010

Guam Pacific Daily News
Letter to the Editor

Resurrect bottle bill for a cleaner Guam

The two previous bottle bills that were introduced by Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes quietly disappeared after public hearings and were not voted on. It almost seems that someone is blocking these bills from moving forward.

The beverage wholesalers claim this deposit would increase their cost, which would need to be passed on to the consumer. How? We're talking about a refundable deposit, not a tax.

They also claim that it would interfere with their recycling program. This program only has a return rate of about 1 percent for aluminum cans. Giving aluminum cans a 5-cent value would actually benefit the recycling program.

Hawaii, which does have a bottle bill, has a return rate of almost 80 percent and that includes aluminum, plastic and glass beverage containers. In addition to the 5-cent refundable deposit, there is also a 1-cent processing fee, which goes back to the beverage industry.

Just look at the results: There are no beverage containers littering Hawaii's beaches, roads and parks like Guam.

In addition to the benefit of a cleaner Guam, recycling also has a great environmental benefit. Does the beverage industry care about that?

Also in Hawaii, one can even see homeless people retrieving beverage containers from trash containers, as some people just don't care to get that 5 cents back. There are also many places where people can donate their "empties," including condo buildings.




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