OPED 10/10: At nature center, they’re sadly downstream of our recycling woes
From The Boston Globe
GIVEN ALL the controversial issues facing us in the coming election, there is one issue that should be a no-brainer: a yes vote on Question 2, the bottle bill. The bill would revise the existing one, to include bottled water, tea, sports drinks, and other beverages, which now often end up in our city drains, parks, and nature centers.
We should know. Volunteers and staff at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center spend countless hours picking up bottles that have floated down storm drain pipes and ended up in Canterbury Brook and the banks of its tributaries. Question 2 would reduce this litter and increase recycling rates.
Currently, even with curbside collection for these kinds of bottles in about half of our cities and towns, only about 23 percent of bottles without deposits are recycled, compared with 80 percent of redeemable bottles.
When the first bottle bill was passed, in 1982, sports drinks and bottled water were not the popular drinks that they are today.
We need to update the bill so that we can keep our parks, rivers, and nature centers clean and save money in the process.
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.