Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bottle Bill Campaign Heats Up

July 25, 2014State House News Service
Advocates hoping to expand the state’s bottle redemption law are gearing up efforts to convince voters in November to pass a ballot initiative that would put a 5 cent deposit on juice, sports drinks and water bottles. Carl Nilsson was recently hired as campaign coordinator and Clare Kelly was hired as campaign manager, according to an official from Mass Audubon, which is part of the coalition of environmental groups backing ballot Question 2. Nilsson, who launched his own consulting firm in May, was the field director for Sen. Ed Markey’s 2013 U.S. Senate campaign. Nilsson also worked as state director in President Obama’s reelection campaign. Kelly, of Boston, served as field director for Gov. Deval Patrick’s 2010 re-election campaign, and more recently as executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. She also ran At-Large Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo’s 2013 campaign. As the Legislature opted not to pass legislation expanding the bottle redemption deposit to other drinks besides soda and beer, advocates formed a grass-roots campaign, which includes representatives from Mass Audubon, MassPIRG, the Sierra Club, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the League of Women Voters. “The failure of the Legislature over the last 20 years and the positive polling, give us confidence that the voters of Massachusetts will support Question 2 on November 4,” Jack Clarke, director of public policy and government relations, at Mass Audubon told the News Service Tuesday. Advocates say the bottle bill, implemented in 1983 when bottled water and sports drinks were not as widely consumed, does not reflect current consumer habits. Opponents argue for expanding curbside recycling programs and say expanding the law will add costs for consumers and retailers. - C. Quinn/SHNS

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