BOSTON, Mass. (SHNS)–In a move that supporters say sends “a strong signal that cities and towns want this bill to move forward,” the Massachusetts Municipal Association and Metropolitan Area Planning Council on Wednesday both endorsed legislation updating the state’s beverage-container deposit law.
The “better bottle bill,” filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Cindy Creem, would increase the bottle deposit from its current five cents to 10 cents and add more types of beverage containers to the program, putting a deposit on water bottles, vitamin drinks, nips and bottles for other drinks that weren’t contemplated when the initial law was adopted in the early 1980s.
“Removing more bottles from the municipal waste stream saves cities and towns money, while allowing customers to get a little money back,” MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen said. “Many of the containers covered by this proposal didn’t even exist when I first lobbied for the Bottle Bill 40 years ago. It’s time to move this law into the 21st century.”
Both House and Senate versions of the bill (H 3289, S 2149) were referred to the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. The panel endorsed Creem’s bill last month and advanced it to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, while it is pursuing an extension order allowing it until May 2 to vote on Decker’s. MASSPIRG announced the two municipal groups’ support for the bill, saying the MMA and MAPC join a list of 75 organizations and 16 businesses that have endorsed the policy.
“Passage now would bring immediate results, with higher re-use and recycling of plastic and glass containers, cleaner roads and parks, and substantial savings for city and town budgets – the bill is a winner on every level,” MMA executive director Geoff Beckwith said.