Bottle Deposit Bill Unveiled

A January 14 Washington Post article highlights the unveiling of legislation that would mandate a bottle deposit fee for beverage containers in Maryland.  The initiative has its own website, titled “Recycle for Real.”  Proponents of the legislation argue that it could help increase the State’s recycling rate and state that the proposal has support from businesses like Alcoa Inc. and the Glass Packaging Institute.

Under the proposal, consumers would pay a 5-cent deposit on every disposable beverage container (glass, aluminum, or plastic), which they would collect when they returned the can or bottle to a “reclamation center” in the community.

The legislation will be sponsored by McIntosh, who chairs the Maryland House Environmental Matters Committee, along with Del. John A. Olszewski Jr. (D-Baltimore County) and Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery).  …

Programs like “Recycle for Real” are already on the books in 10 states: New York, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Oregon and Vermont, all of which have recycling rates well above Maryland’s.

The Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association has stated that it opposes the legislation.  MACo has opposed previous bottle deposit initiatives because of the financial impact to county recycling programs but has not yet taken a position on the current proposal.  Other challenges with bottle deposit legislation include the redemption of out-of-state containers and the removal of containers from people’s recycling bins and trash.

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