Bottle Bill Position

Bolton Local supports a ‘Yes’ vote on QUESTION # 2 on the November 2014 ballot because:

1. It will reduce the amount of trash along our roadways and in our parks and waterways. Plastic water bottles, energy drinks and flavored teas are not covered by the current bill, which was passed in 1983. At present, 80 percent of deposit bottles are recycled, while only 23 percent of nondeposit bottles are recycled.

2. It will help keep the plastic containers out of our landfills and transfer stations and send them back to the companies who make them, to be reused. More than 3.3 billion beverages are consumed in Massachusetts annually. The majority of these are consumed away from home, and therefore are not included in curbside recycling. It is estimated that the bill will save our cities and towns $6.7 million a year in trash pick-up and disposal.

3. The expanded bill is an incentive to protect our environment. Plastic is not biodegradable, and if put in landfills, will be around forever. Further, it takes up a significant amount of space in landfills, causing more landfills to be required. Plastic does degrade, however, and animals and birds have been known to mistake small bits for food, which can eventually kill them. Plastics that are not put in landfills, but incinerated instead, release dangerous toxins into the air that are a risk to all life.

4. The processing of recycled material creates between 8 and 12 times more jobs than trashing it.

5. Seventy-five percent of Massachusetts voters are in favor of the Expanded Bottle Bill, according to the Massachusetts Sierra Club. However, $5 million is being spent by outside opponents, primarily the American Beverage Association, to defeat the bill.

6. Expansion of the Bottle Bill is not a tax, since deposits are 100 percent refundable. People who do not redeem their containers make a voluntary choice not to do so, and therefore unclaimed deposits cannot be considered a tax.

(September 21. 2014)