David Abel of the Boston Globe reports today on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's proposal to expand the state's bottle bill to include water bottles and containers of non-carbonated soft drinks. This expansion would bring Massauchestts more in line with the deposit laws of states like Hawaii, Oregon and California where recycling rates for containers in the program have steadly increased every year. Proponents see the expansion as a way to increase recycling while generating additional revenue to fund programs:
"It's not often that one can find a revenue item that is good for the environment, especially in tough economic times," James McCaffrey, director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, said in a prepared statement. "It is over 10 times more likely that a nondeposit container will end up littering, rather than being recycled."
The 28 year old Massachusetts law should be updated to reflect changes in consumer behaviour. Bottled water and non carbonated soft drinks now account for one third of beverages sold in the state yet these containers are excluded. Expanding the program to include these containers would create a huge waste reduction opportunity for Massachusetts.
Learn more about the success of California's Bottle & Can Recycling Law