Jan 17 - States Push for Bottle Bills in New Political Climate

Five statesâ€"Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois and Arkansasâ€"will be considering bottle bills in their state legislatures this year in a new political climate where the reality of plastics waste is more visible than ever before.

Officials in Marylandâ€"which currently only requires 15 percent of waste to be recycledâ€"hopes a bottle bill would bring that figure up to the levels enjoyed by the 11 states that have bottle bills.

Maryland bottle bill sponsor Peter Hammen was quoted by Maryland’s Gazzette.Net as saying that although opposition to the bill from industry groups remains fierce, the increasing number of calls he has been getting from constituents complaining about plastic bottle waste in the Baltimore Harbor convinced him time was ripe for a new bottle bill effort.

The landscape is a lot different that it was even five years ago. There are many more beverage containers being purchased by consumers due to the introduction of new beverages such as bottled water. The containers are being seen more and more littered on streets and in streams and rivers.

Opponents to such measures are well organized and well funded and include beverage associations, national brewing companies, and the International Bottled Water Association.

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