A bottle bill is a law that places a minimum deposit on recyclable beverage containers. Depending on the state or country that has the bottle bill, different types of containers may have a deposit placed on them. The incentive of a bottle bill is that the consumer will receive the deposit back if the container is returned, thus increasing the amount of containers being recycled. Currently, eleven states and eight Canadian provinces have bottle bills, as well as a number of countries in Europe. In 2002, Hawaii became the first state since 1986 to pass a Bottle Bill law.
In Massachusetts, the Bottle Bill was enacted in 1983. The bottle bill currently covers beer and other malt beverages, carbonated soft drinks and mineral water containers to be redeemed for a deposit. The bottle bill has thus far significantly reduced litter and increased recycling rates in the state. There is however, room for improvement, especially in that more types of containers, such as bottled water and juice, could have deposits on them as well.
Massachusetts Bottle Bill expansion reported favorable by committee and referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules. What does this mean for us? If passed, bottled water, sports drink and juice containers can be returned for a deposit in Massachusetts. This means more bottles can be recycled and less bottles end up in landfills!
To follow the Bottle Bill expansion and to learn more about Bottle Bills in Massachusetts, the United States and the rest of the world, visit the Bottle Bill Resource Guide.