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.

With the lifting of COVID restrictions, life is returning to some sense of normalcy in Vermont, and so is the VPIRG Summer Canvass.

After 8 weeks of reaching out to our thousands of members virtually, we have fully completed our transition back to in-person canvassing. We’ll continue to have a small contingent of canvassers hitting the phones, trying to reach members we might not see at the door this summer, but after two years of virtual interactions, we’re excited to see some of our members face to face again.

Fostering meaningful connections through face-to-face interactions is our bread and butter here at VPIRG, and we are thrilled to be able to do that safely once again. And while we definitely won’t be able to knock on as many doors this summer as we would normally, this is an exciting time as we emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.

Our canvass team will be heading door-to-door to continue building support for our summer campaign: 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!

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