Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Updated Bottle Bill Campaign Announces Business Support

State House, Boston—In a move designed to counter the big business lobbyists who oppose the bill, the Campaign for an Updated Bottle Bill today launched “Businesses for the Updated Bottle Bill,” an effort which has already garnered the endorsement of 350 small businesses around the state.

"It's fitting that we hold this event on Valentine's Day. As a small business owner, I'm here to say I love the idea that we can decrease litter and increase recycling with the passage of this bill," said Jodie Siegel, owner of "Clear Your Space," a Boston-area business that works with residents and businesses to increase efficiency and reduce waste.

“We’re tired of business as usual, seeing water bottles littered everywhere, when we could be recycling them so easily,” said Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG, one of the lead groups in the Campaign. “And we’re tired of the big business lobbyists complaining about this bill. We’re here today to show that small businesses, the backbone of the Massachusetts economy, support this bill.”

The original Massachusetts Bottle Bill became law in 1982 when juice, water and sports drink bottles were not part of the beverage market. Because the Bottle Bill does not cover these drinks, millions of containers are ending up as litter or in our landfills and incinerators, costing our cities and towns money in expensive disposal fees.

Today’s event was the launch of this effort, but outreach done by the League of Women Voters-MA, Mass Recycle, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, MASSPIRG, and others resulted in a huge demonstration of support from small businesses. These 350 businesses join a crowded field of supporters of H890/S1650.  A statewide poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group in 2011 showed 77% of Bay State residents support an update to the Bottle Bill. As of press time, 206 cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed local resolutions in support of the update.

“As a small retail business owner on the Cape, I am painfully aware of how much litter impacts the look and attractiveness of a business area. I heartily endorse the Updated Bottle Bill for many reasons, with litter being among the top of them,” said David Abel, co-owner of the Orleans boutique “Weekend.”

The Legislature has yet to take this bill up in the 2011-2012 session, and it has been pending for several years. “Today's event, showing the support of many businesses, propels the momentum of this bill. Updating the bottle bill will create jobs, lower costs for cities and towns, clean up parks, rivers, streets and highways and is popular with people across the State,” commented Representative Alice Wolf, the chief sponsor the bill. Senator Cynthia Creem serves as the chief sponsor in the Senate.

The Updated Bottle Bill Campaign, comprising 90 organizations including Mass Municipal Association, Mass Audubon, Sierra Club-MA, Environmental League of MA, Surfriders Foundation, and many more, is expanding its outreach to small businesses to counter the influence of the big businesses which oppose the bill.

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