By Bob Katzen

The Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy approved and sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee legislation that would expand the state’s existing bottle bill law that requires a 5-cent refundable deposit on glass, plastic, metal, aluminum and bi-metal containers holding beer and other malt beverages, carbonated soft drinks and mineral waters.

The measure would require a deposit on bottles of most other carbonated and non-carbonated beverages including tea, energy drinks, water, wine and hard liquor. It would cover containers in sizes as small as nips all the way up to 3-liter containers and would exempt milk, certain juice products, infant formula and nutritive meal replacement liquids. The proposal also raises the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents.

“When the Legislature passed the Bottle Bill in 1982, beverages like bottled water, sports drinks and ice teas were not widely marketed, so they were not included in the deposit program,” said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton). “As a result, those products—which are now immensely popular—are much less likely to be recycled. By expanding the deposit system to include nearly all beverage containers and increasing the deposit from five to 10 cents, the Better Bottle Bill would increase recycling rates and reduce litter on our streets and in our parks.”

“In a move that brings good new year tidings, today, we move Massachusetts closer to reducing waste, increasing recycling and decreasing litter,” said MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz. “The Bigger Better Bottle Bill will address the single-use plastic waste that has grown worse over time.”

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