IBWA Opposes National Bottle Bill

IBWA Opposes National Bottle Bill

Dear Senator:

It has come to our attention that Senator Jeffords once again, intends to introduce his latest version of a bill designed to impose deposits on beverage containers. This “National Beverage Container Reuse and Recycling Act of 2002,” to be introduced on Earth Day, April 22, 2002 is simply the latest effort by the Senator to impose this obsolete and ineffective forced deposit system on the less than 4% of the solid waste stream represented by beverage containers.

Only nine states have traditional beverage container deposit laws and California has a hybrid version. The last state measure, California’s, was passed sixteen years ago and with literally hundreds of deposit bill defeated in the subsequent years, we fail to see how the actions of ten states between 1971 and 1986 translates into a mandate for federal action in 2002. In fact, because beverage containers represent such a small percentage of the solid waste stream, every deposit state has found it necessary to enact additional comprehensive waste management programs such as curbside recycling. Conversely no state which adopted a comprehensive solid waste management approach has ever found it necessary to layer that program with a deposit system. Today nearly 60% of all Americans have access to curbside recycling in more than 9700 communities.

Consumers of beverage containers are opting for the convenience of curbside recycling over deposit systems everyday. Redemption rates for deposit containers has been declining in Massachusetts, New York and California in recent years as residents opt for the convenience of curbside recycling over the redemption of their container deposit. This trend was confirmed by the citizens of Columbia, Missouri, the only city in the country with a municipal deposit ordinance, when they voted to repeal their deposit law on April 2, 2002. Citing adequate recycling and litter control programs already in place for other materials, voters indicated by a 58-42 measure that the time for forced deposits had come and gone.

Consumers who prefer to recycle a wide array of products rather than just a few bottles and cans, effectively forfeit their deposit when they recycle beverage containers through their convenient curbside program. Under this growing scenario, a forced deposit law is a tax.

Please join us in opposing Senator Jeffords’ latest version of the “National Beverage Container Reuse and Recycling Act of 2002.”



International Bottled Water Association