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Bottle Bill Update



August 7, 2013
Coalition to Update the Bottle Bill Files for 2014 Ballot

BOSTON, MA – Advocates for updating the state’s bottle deposit law announced today (8/7/2013) that they are filing a ballot initiative known as the Updated Bottle Bill. This proposed law would add water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to the existing nickel deposit law. When this measure becomes law, there will be less litter, more recycling, and millions of taxpayer dollars saved in the reduced cost of waste disposal in our cities and towns.

Advocates have been trying to get the Legislature to pass this bill for nearly ten years. Citing that an update for the 30-year old law is long overdue, the advocates have noted the law’s proven success in reducing litter in our parks, and on our beaches and roadways. It has increased our recycling and reduced the cost of waste disposal for taxpayers in our cities and towns.

Among the initial signers to the ballot question include Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, leaders of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, Massachusetts Sierra Club and other prominent organizations. Over 200 cities and towns in the Commonwealth have passed resolutions in support of the update as well.

Surveys have shown that the bill is extremely popular with the public. According to a statewide poll conducted by MassINC Polling Group, 77% of Massachusetts residents support an update of the bottle bill. Many businesses and civic leaders support the update; including Governor Deval Patrick, Governor Michael Dukakis, State Senator Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth) and State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), as well as bill sponsors State Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) and State Representative Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown). Over 300 businesses have endorsed the effort, as well as a coalition that includes over 100 organizations, including Mass Municipal Association, League of Women Voters, Charles River Conservancy, Audubon Society, and many more.

“This bill makes sense for the public, and filing it as a ballot question after years of trying to pass it in the Legislature reinforces that the citizens’ voice can and will be heard,” said Ryan Black, Director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club.


Phil Sego
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Legislature Drops the Ball, Rejects Bottle Bill Update

Today, the Legislature dropped the ball once again, as the final FY14 budget was reported out of the budget conference committee without the Updated Bottle Bill in it. The Senate had voted unanimously to include the Updated Bottle Bill in its version of the FY14 budget, and while the House never considered it in their budget, 76 members of the House are cosponsors of the bill. But when the budget conference committee--which meets behind closed doors and does not record individual votes--was finished resolving the differences between the House and Senate budgets, the Updated Bottle Bill was not included.

"The conference committee snatched defeat from the jaws of victory," commented Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG. "The Updated Bottle Bill is wildly popular with the public, with over 100 organizations, with 208 cities and towns, with 350 small businesses. The Legislature had a chance to make this bill law and they ignored it."

The Updated Bottle Bill, which would add a nickel deposit to beverage containers such as water and sports drinks, has been pending in the Legislature for several years. The single most effective recycling tool in the state, the current bill, which has been on the books since the early 80's, reduces container litter by 80%. "As beach season gets underway, it's a dramatic reminder of how much litter and trash we could get rid of if we simply put that nickel deposit on more beverages," said Ryan Black of the Sierra Club, another Updated Bottle Bill supporter. "Our environment would be cleaner and healthier if we could recycle more of these plastic bottles which are trashing our ocean, our parks, and our open spaces," added Ken Pruitt of the Environmental League of MA. The coalition pushing this bill includes the League of Women Voters, the South Shore Recycling Cooperative, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and over 90 other local and statewide groups. The coalition will continue to vigorously pursue this long overdue reform.

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By Phil Sego
State Senate Passes Bottle Bill Update

May 22, 2013

In a move long awaited by 77% of the public in Massachusetts, the state Senate overwhelmingly voted for an amendment to the state budget on Wednesday evening which would update the state’s nickel deposit system, also known as the Bottle Bill, to include water, sports drinks, and flavored teas.

“With all the complex legislation we have to consider in such tough fiscal times, it’s great to have a bill that’s such a winner,” said Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem of Newton, a chief sponsor of the measure.

If the House also passes the amendment, and it’s signed into law, Massachusetts would catch up with Maine, Connecticut, and New York, all of which added more containers to their deposit laws over the past several years. Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Tom Menino, and the Mass. Municipal Association are among the longtime supporters of this measure.

“Right now, taxpayers are footing the bill to deal with these non-carbonated beverage containers, which I see all over our streets and in our parks,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, another chief sponsor. “Including these containers in our state’s bottle bill makes good fiscal and environmental sense.”

“It’s high time to update the Bottle Bill,” said Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG. “We’ve been pushing for this update for a long time, but the bottlers and big beverage industry lobbyists have been pushing back. We are now optimistic that with the support of the Senate, and Governor Patrick, the House will move quickly to adopt this amendment.”

Over 90 organizations, including the Environmental League of MA, Mass Audubon, the Garden Club Federation of MA, the League of Women Voters/MA, South Shore Recycling Cooperative, and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy as well as 208 cities in towns support updating the bottle for its potential to increase recycling, reduce litter, and save cities and towns money in litter pickup and trash disposal costs. Over the past several years, tens of thousands of postcards, emails, phone calls, and letters have been sent to legislators from citizens around the state, urging passage.

“Public support for an update to the bottle bill is huge, and has been building every year,” said Ryan Black, director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “People are truly tired of the waste and the litter.”


September 28, 2011 Update
Bottle Bill tonight (Wednesday) to WBZ-AM 1030

Immediate Action Needed Resources


September 28, 2011 Update

Here's the key news so far this year:
  • The Updated Bottle Bill (H890/S1650), filed by Rep Alice Wolf/Sen Cynthia Creem, is co-sponsored by 80 legislators.
  • In January, the MassINC Polling Group conducted a poll which showed 77% public support of the update
  • On July 20, over 300 people showed up to a State House hearing in support of the bill
  • As of today, 204 cities and towns have passed resolutions in support of the bill

Listen Tonight (9/28) to WBZ-AM 1030, 9-10pm

DEP Commr. Ken Kimmel will be the featured guest on Dan Rea's Nightside. Be part of the show, call (617) 254-1030. Please call in with your questions and comments!

Immediate Action Needed: Get the Bill out of Committee by November 1 The Updated Bottle Bill (H890/S1650) has been sitting in the Telecom, Utilities and Energy (TUE) Committee all year. The Committee held a hearing on the bill on July 20, and over 300 people showed up to support it. We need this TUE committee to vote on the bill and get it moving. Our goal is to have the Committee vote by November 1. If you live in the districts of any of the 17 members of this committee (see below), please contact them and tell them you support the Updated Bottle Bill, and ask for action on the bill by Nov 1.

House Members
Rep. John Keenan, Chair - JohnD.Keenan@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2015
Rep. Kate Hogan, Vice Chair - Kate.Hogan@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2060
Rep. Paul Adams - Paul.Adams@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2425
Rep. Carlo Basile - Carlo.Basile@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2637
Rep. Tackey Chan - Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2425
Rep. Stephen DiNatale - Stephen.DiNatale@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2460
Rep. Thomas Golden - Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2450
Rep. Randy Hunt - randy.hunt@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2396
Rep. John Mahoney - john.mahoney@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2425
Rep. John Rogers - John.Rogers@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2040
Rep. Walter Timilty - Walter.Timilty@mahouse.gov - 617-722-2810


Senate Members
Sen. Benjamin Downing, Chair - Benjamin.Downing@masenate.gov - 617-722-1625
Sen. Marc Pacheco, Vice Chair - Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov - 617-722-1551
Sen. Eileen Donoghue - Eileen.Donoghue@masenate.gov - 617-722-1630
Sen. James Eldridge - James.Eldridge@masenate.gov - 617-722-1120
Sen. Jen Flanagan - Jennifer.Flanagan@masenate.gov - 617-722-1230
Sen. Michael Knapik - Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov - 617-722-1415

If you do NOT live in one of these 17 districts, please contact your own state representative (we will concentrate on the Senate later) and tell him/her you support the Updated Bottle Bill and ask for their help getting the bill out of committee. You can find your state representative here: www.wheredoivotema.com.



Recycling For Charities

Recycling saves 95 percent of the energy required to make aluminum from ore.
If the recycling rate were to reach 80% at the current level of beverage container sales, nearly 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided. This is equivalent to taking nearly 2.4 million cars off the road for a full year.

U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report
In 1972, 53 million pounds of aluminum were recycled. Today, we exceed that amount weekly.
Copyright © 2001 Recycling For Charities. All rights reserved. Revised: 08/28/11