Saturday, February 19, 2011

A chance to make an effective law even better

Appeared in the Boston Globe
February 11, 2011

As the House sponsor of An Act Updating the Bottle Bill, I appreciate the Globe’s Feb. 4 editorial supporting the measure. In light of the Feb. 9 letter in opposition to the bill (“Bottle bill is an expensive, ineffectual law’’), I think it is important to make clear that the bill would improve a very effective, decades-old law.

The deposit system has been the state’s most successful recycling program since its inception in 1983. However, consumer tastes have changed, and bottled water and sports drink containers are filling our parks, rivers, and landfills.

Additionally, with the update, municipalities would save an estimated $4 million to $7 million in litter disposal costs, small businesses could apply for an exemption from receiving returned bottles, and redemption centers would stay in business, saving jobs.

This is not a controversial or partisan issue. According to a recent MassINC poll, 78 percent of registered Democrats and 71 percent of registered Republicans support the update.

Special interests call this bill a “tax’’ because they know that is the third rail of politics now. A deposit, which is fully refundable, is not a tax.

Alice K. Wolf
State representative
Democrat of Cambridge

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