Once again, it has been a year like no other here at VPIRG.

From running our first-ever virtual canvass last summer to advocating for the public interest remotely, we have had to adapt to the times like everyone else. Like in 2020, out of an abundance of caution, our 2021 Summer Canvass will begin virtually, with canvassers hitting the phones to inform the public on the issues we work on and renew annual memberships.

But grassroots organizing just isn’t the same without being able to see our members face to face.

Recent developments have us hopeful that we’ll be able to do some in-person canvassing this year. But the health and well-being of our canvassers and our members comes first – and that means putting in the planning necessary to conduct a door-to-door canvass safely and responsibly.

We’re doing that planning now, but that doesn’t mean outreach staff are sitting idly by in the meantime. For the next 8 weeks, our team of canvassers will be reaching out to thousands of VPIRG members using the methods we honed last year as part of our first ever virtual canvass: emails, text messages, letters, social media, and a lot of phone calls.

And they’ll be reaching out to members to build support for one of VPIRG’s longest-running campaigns: modernizing Vermont’s Bottle Bill!

An effort 50 years in the making…

The Bottle Bill was passed into law in 1972 and was one of the first issues VPIRG worked on. It has become Vermont’s most successful recycling law, and 9 in 10 Vermonters have used the bottle redemption system. Unfortunately, it has not kept pace with similar legislation in other states, and after nearly 50 years, it is long overdue for an update.

VPIRG’s second Executive Director, Whitey Bluestein, testifying on behalf of the Bottle Bill. He is accompanied by Assistant Director Leigh Seddon (left) and Rep. Chip Stone of Montpelier (right)

The good news is that during the last legislative session, the Vermont House passed H.175 – a bill that would modernize the Bottle Bill, expanding it to include containers like wine, water bottles, sports drinks, and hard cider.

This victory was hard-fought. Industry lobbyists mobilized to try and kill the bill, even setting up a fake astroturfing group posing as concerned citizens called “Vermonters for Recycling.” The bill will face further hurdles as it moves to the Senate, before ending up on the Governor’s desk.

Get Involved!

Click the buttons below to urge your elected officials to support this important legislation and see how you can share this campaign on your local front porch forum:

A more efficient way to reduce plastic waste…

Containers recycled through the Bottle Bill process are cleaner and more likely to be used to make other bottles. That means fewer virgin materials produced, less extraction less waste, and less pollution. Bottom-line: An updated Bottle Bill is better for the environment. To learn more about the benefits of an expanded bottle redemption law, click below.

Onward, together.

As we emerge from the pandemic and look towards the future, we must make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our fragile planet. To us, strengthening Vermont’s most effective recycling law is a no-brainer, and we hope you agree. VPIRG will always do what is best for the interests of regular Vermonters.

If you agree with our vision, please consider renewing your support today, and help us fight for a better tomorrow.


Meet Our Canvassers!