The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy passed an amendment to expand the Bottle Bill as part of the broader solid waste and mandatory recycling bill (H. 485) on Friday morning. Offered by Senator Joe Benning (R- Caledonia), the amendment adds beverages such as water bottles, juices, and sports drinks to the bottle redemption program.
The amendment passed on a 3-2 vote: voting in favor were Senators Benning, McCormack and MacDonald, opposed were Senators Brock and Lyons.
“The Bottle Bill is by far our most successful recycling program, so we are thrilled to see the Natural Resources committee vote in favor of expanding it to cover more beverages. As the state tries to figure out how to increase recycling, it makes a lot of sense to build on the best thing we have going,” said Lauren Hierl, Environmental Health Advocate for VPIRG. “Next, we would love to see the state keep the nickels from unclaimed deposits. This revenue totals more than $3 million per year, and is money the state could invest in recycling and other important programs.”
A recent VPIRG study showed expanding Vermont’s Bottle Bill would recycle an additional 96.7 million bottles and cans each year, while also cutting our energy use, reducing greenhouse gases, and creating local jobs.