2013 Environmental Health Legislative Preview

A Bigger Better Bottle Bill

Every year, the Bottle Bill keeps roughly 250 million containers from littering our roadsides or cramming our landfills.  So, while the state studies how best to renew its commitment to recycling and zero-waste, one thing’s for sure: we should expand our most successful recycling program, the Bottle Bill.  The Bottle Bill has a 40-year legacy of environmental and local economic benefits, and it has room to grow.

A Bigger, Better Bottle Bill that included non-carbonated beverage containers like plastic water bottles would save up to 100 million more bottles and cans from ending up as roadside litter or landfill trash, while also cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating local jobs.  And, instead of giving the beverage industry $3 million annually in unclaimed nickels, VPIRG’s Bigger, Better Bottle Bill would mean Vermont could put a chunk of change toward other recycling programs or other state priorities.

Click here to learn more about our campaign to expand the Bottle Bill!

 

Chemical Whack-a-Mole

When facts came to light about the connection between cancer and flame retardant chemicals – and it became clear these chemicals don’t actually protect us from fires – VPIRG ushered in a ban on a commonly-used class of flame retardants called Deca in 2009.  Three years later, we’ve learned the chemical industry has been quietly adding another toxic flame retardant chemical to our couches and baby products, chlorinated Tris.

VPIRG will press for a ban on this toxic chemical threat.  And, while we continue our work on getting individual toxins out of Vermont products, we know we can’t keep tackling chemicals one at a time. That’s why we’re working with state leaders and national partners to move forward with replacing the dangerous “innocent until proven guilty” approach to regulating toxic chemicals in Vermont and at the federal level.