9/25: Big money backs state anti-bottle-bill campaign
From The Boston Globe
Big money backs state anti-bottle-bill campaign
Another hefty infusion of cash from the American Beverage Association has increased the war chest of those seeking to block the expansion of the state’s bottle redemption law to nearly $8 million — more than quadruple the amount raised by any other ballot campaign.
The No on Question 2 committee, which has already released advertisements seeking to persuade voters to reject adding bottle deposits to water and sports drinks, this month received $2.3 million from the American Beverage Association as well as more than $100,000 from supermarket companies. Last month, the trade association for nonalcoholic drinks contributed more than $5.2 million to the campaign.
Supporters of the ballot question have raised just $525,000, most of which has come from the Massachusetts Sierra Club and other environmental groups. They said they so far lack enough money to buy TV ads.
“We’re in a busy election cycle and we want to reach as many voters as possible; that includes paid media, direct mail, and grass-roots outreach, among other efforts,” said Nicole Giambusso, a spokeswoman for the committee opposing the expansion of the bottle law.
But supporters of Question 2 — which would apply the 31-year-old nickel deposit that encourages recycling of soda, beer, and malt beverage containers to noncarbonated beverages — say the financial disparity reflects the interests supporting the opposition.
“With each new campaign finance filing, Massachusetts voters can see just how far big beverage companies are willing to go to keep our parks filled with litter from over a billion water bottles, sports drinks, and other beverage containers,” said Janet Domenitz, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.
On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick endorsed Question 2.
The Bottle Bill is the state’s most successful recycling and litter prevention program. Since the Bottle Bill's inception in 1983, over 35 billion containers have been redeemed, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But to keep up with the times and consumer’s tastes, the bottle bill must be updated.
An Updated Bottle Bill would expand our container deposit system to include non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks, which aren't covered under the current law. It would decrease litter, increase recycling, and add over 1000 green jobs.