If big beverage companies say they support recycling, and states with "bottle bills" have significantly higher recycling rates than those without, why doesn’t the industry support bottle bills in every state?
Good question. A July 5 New York Times article described repeated attempts to expand Connecticut's bottle bill, all of which have been stymied by beverage industry opposition. In June, for example, industry lobbying helped defeat a bill that would have expanded deposits beyond the current beer and soda to juice and energy drinks.
"It’s like Groundhog Day all over again," said Chris Phelps, state director of Environment Connecticut. “Every year, no progress is made, despite a lot of effort, a lot of work, a lot of recognition of the need to make progress.”
With recycling rates low across the country, the beverage industry should put its financial and political clout where its rhetoric is, and support pro-recycling policies like the bottle bill.
Photo: Bottle bills result in more bottles and cans being recycled, but are costly for the beverage industry. Credit: spidwoff via Shutterstock.