Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Poll Shows Strong Support for Bottle Bill Update

Jan 23, 2011

A recently conducted poll shows that a vast majority of Massachusetts residents support pending legislation to update the state's Bottle Bill, the 5c deposit on some beverage containers which has been in effect since 1983. According to a poll conducted in January by The MassINC Polling Group, 77 percent of the public wants to see additional containers---like water bottles, sports drinks, iced teas, and fruit juices---include the 5c deposit.

"This poll provides the science to what we've known from our experience all along, that the Bottle Bill is popular. We need to pass the law to update it, which will result in a win/win/win for Massachusetts---cleaning up litter, increasing recycling, and saving cities and towns money from disposal costs," declared Representative Alice Wolf, who, along with Senator Cynthia Creem, has championed the bill in the Legislature. "It's been clear to me for ages that my district wholeheartedly supports the bill, and I believe this poll will help persuade legislators to enact this update in 2011," remarked Senator Creem.

Included in the poll's statistics:

- 77% of Massachusetts residents support updating the bottle bill
- support for updating the bill is similar between parties, with 78% of registered Democrats and 71% of registered Republicans supporting the update
- support for the Bottle Bill update crosses gender, party, and geographic lines.

"There's simply no reason to delay this bill any longer," exhorted Janet Domenitz, the Executive Director of MASSPIRG, which pushed for the original Bottle Bill and has been campaigning for its update. "What better New Year's Resolution for the Legislature than to pass this and get it to the Governor's desk now? Governor Patrick is eager to sign this measure into law. "

The bill to update the current law has been pending in the Legislature for over a decade. The current Bottle Bill covers only carbonated beverages; the update would expand the types of containers to include water, sports drinks, iced teas and the like.

Supporters represent a broad range, among others: the Sierra Club, Mass Audubon Society, the Charles River Conservancy, Environmental League of MA, Mass Recycle; as well as the League of Women Voters, the Mass Municipal Association, the Mass Redemption Coalition, the Mass League of Environmental Voters, and the Surfrider Foundation. Mayor Tom Menino and Governor Deval Patrick have been ardent supporters, and Congressman Ed Markey has filed a Bottle Bill in Congress. "While we represent the environmental constituency, it's clear from our coalition that this bill is an environmental protection bill, plus. It saves money, it promotes corporate responsibility, and we now know its public appeal is overwhelming," said James McCaffrey, director of the Sierra Club of MA.

"This is already an early priority for ranking legislators in our 2011-2012 Environmental Scorecard," added Lora Wondolowski, Executive Director of the Mass League of Environmental Voters.

These results are based on a MassINC Polling Group statewide poll conducted January 5-8, 2011 among 400 Massachusetts residents, including 342 registered voters. Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish by Eastern Research Services. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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