Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updated Bottle Bill Coalition lauds Governor’s FY12 Budget

Jan 27, 2011

Included in Governor Deval Patrick’s just-released FY12 Budget for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a provision that would decrease litter, increase recycling, and generate revenue: an update of the state’s bottle bill. The provision would expand the 30 year old 5 cent deposit on some soft drinks and other beverages to include water bottles, sports drinks, teas and other drinks. The Coalition for an Updated Bottle Bill cheered the Governor’s move, and called for the provision’s immediate passage.

“Updating the bottle bill makes sense for all the right reasons: it reduces trash hazards in the environment, will provide added revenue to state conservation programs, and will return more money to cities and towns for recycling programs,” commented Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations for Mass Audubon, which analyzes the environmental priorities in the state budget each year.

While Governor Patrick supported the update in his first term, there is a ‘stepped up’ effort now, according to the Secretary of Energy and the Environment, Rick Sullivan. In addition, a recently released poll conducted by the MassInc Polling Group showed that 77% of the public supports the update. “It’s basically been more than 12 years of snow days for the Updated Bottle Bill,” remarked Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG. “The bill has been buried in the Legislature for far too long, and there’s simply no reason to delay any longer.”

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