Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Bottle bill due for an update

The Bristol Democratic Committee supports current legislation to modernize our Bottle Bill (H.175). This bill would expand the types of beverage containers that can be accepted for redemption. It would include water bottles, wine bottles and containers for all noncarbonated and carbonated drinks except dairy and dairy alternatives. The bill would also increase the deposit on these beverage containers from 5 cents to 10 cents.
Moving more of the beverage containers from the blue bin/curbside system to the redemption system is the way of the future because of the following:
1. It increases recycling rates. Based on the experience of other states, the increase of the deposit to 10 cents will increase the percent of containers brought to the redemption center from 75% to 90%.
2. Containers that are returned for deposit are cleaner and less-contaminated than containers mixed in with other recyclables. As a result, more beverage containers can be remade into new, food-grade bottles and cans. This reuses more materials and reduces waste.
3. It reduces the amount of litter along roads and waterways. Plastic bottles are the second-most common type of litter in Vermont.
4. It reduces the amount of beverage containers dumped into the landfills.
5. It reduces greenhouse gases. Fewer beverages would be made from virgin materials. This saves energy and reduces the number of new plastics, which are made from petroleum. This reduces impacts from extraction and emissions.
6. It raises at least another $2 million/year (on top of the existing $3 million/year) from unclaimed deposits to go to the clean water fund and potentially other environmental causes.
The Bristol Democratic Committee recommends that Vermont use funds generated from the unclaimed deposits to not only go to the clean water fund, but to also subsidize the county solid waste districts for any loss of revenue due to this shift from blue bin/curbside pickup to redemption at a redemption center.
Linda Andrews
Bristol Town Democratic Chair

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