To The Editor:
I am writing in support of retaining and expanding Vermont’s bottle bill. I recently learned that the beverage industry has hired lobbyists in an effort to repeal Vermont’s bottle bill so I am speaking out now to raise awareness of this issue. Our bottle bill helps create incentive for us to redeem our bottles keeping them out of our landfills and off the streets. Yet, we can do better. Did you know that when we toss bottles in the recycling that could be returned for the deposit, the revenue from the deposits (which currently are estimated to be worth between $1.4 million and $4 million) is sent to the big beverage industry giants? This is revenue we could capture for Vermont. If we raised the deposit from a nickel to a dime we could create even greater incentive for people to redeem their containers instead of putting them in recycling. Increased redemption rates also keeps and may create jobs at the 75 certified redemption centers around the state. If we expand the bill to cover water, juice and sports drinks containers, we could have a significant impact, both economically and environmentally. I urge my fellow Vermonters to ask our legislators to keep the bottle bill, expand it to cover water, juice and sports drink containers, raise the deposit to 10 cents and ensure the state of Vermont is the beneficiary of whatever unclaimed deposits remain, not the beverage industry.