Please speak up for updated bottle bill

EAST DOVER — Water bottles, wine bottles, and carbonated and non-carbonated drinks continue to be cast aside on our Vermont roadsides and fields, and our longstanding bottle deposit program is begging to be expanded to include them. A proposed bottle bill gives our Vermont state representatives and senators that opportunity.

The current state deposit program has proved to have substantial merit. It has been shown that bottle deposit programs offer a consistent quantity of raw materials for new containers - aluminum, PET (polyethylene terephthalate, used for plastic bottles and packaging), glass - and consistently clean, uncontaminated quality beyond that of curbside programs.

However, Vermont's doesn't go far enough.

We have a chance to tighten ours up to include these items, but we must speak up. In the face of intense opposition from beverage industry lobbyists and resistance from our governor, we must loudly tell our representatives, including Senator Becca Balint, that we demand that this bottle bill be firmly pushed forward during this session.

We must demand that containers long allowed to slip through the deposit redemption net be included and that legislators look honestly at how pathetically low and uninspiring the redemption fees remain.

Coins initially out of our pocket are reimbursed upon bottle return. This process has created jobs, reduced plastic and litter waste and, most importantly, moved us one step forward to increased producer responsibility for product packaging.

Please speak up.

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