To the Editor,
Every aluminum can consumed in Massachusetts has an 80 percent chance of being recycled. Every water bottle, sports drink, or other non-carbonated beverage has a 20 percent chance. What accounts for this huge discrepancy in recycling rates? Much of the difference can be attributed to the 5 cent bottle-deposit system, which covers carbonated beverages but excludes plastic bottles. An Updated Bottle Bill, which would expand the bottle-deposit system to include water bottles, sports drinks, and similar beverages, would prevent an estimated one billion plastic bottles from entering landfills next year.
Despite widespread support for the update from 208 municipalities, 105 legislators, and 77 percent of the public, the state’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy recently voted 10-7 to send the Updated Bottle Bill to “study,” 14 years after the bill was first introduced. This decision to delay a vote on the bill was once again a flagrant display of special interest lobbyists influencing the legislature, acting against the public interest, and subverting the democratic process. I urge the legislature to respect the Massachusetts public, and to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.