Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bottle Bill Expansion Bites the Dust

There'll be no need for a re-count.  On Tuesday voters in Massachusetts, by an overwhelming majority, elected not to expand our state's Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverage containers leaving us with the status quo. Our 1983 version Bottle Bill is left to continue working with one hand tied behind its back in its yeoman's work of getting nearly 80% of beer and soda containers recycled.

So if the Bottle Bill won't be allowed to help, how will we prevent the thousands upon thousands of Poland Springs, Gatorade, PowerAde, et all plastic bottles from continuing their long, slow, and steady migration to the sea?

Relying on curbside recycling programs in dealing with today's litter problem may be akin to this...
 
Is streamside, roadside, or trailside recycling a likely solution?

How about enforcement of anti-littering laws?   A likely solution?

I'm at a loss of ideas.  Perhaps the American Beverage Association has some suggestions...or perhaps the now cash-flush local television outlets. 
Hope springs eternal.

10 comments:

BaffinPaddler said...

Discouraging for sure. I guess the sheer volume of resources needed or cost to manage the Bottle Bill, if enacted, killed it?

Mark Mayall said...

Hugely frustrating.

artistatexit0 said...

I feel asking some of these beverage makers to assume some responsibility for the products they put out into the world is a reasonable step. What good is selling pure, clean water if you associate it with waste plastic?

Suasco Al said...

Baffin Paddler, It sure is discouraging and I understand how it can be cumbersome for the merchants. The State of Maine's Bottle Bill, from what I understand, allows stores to direct customers with bottle returns to a nearby redemption center provided it's within a reasonable proximity. That solution seems better for all concerned.
Merchants in Massachusetts could have worked out something similar.

How do folks up in Ontario deal with plastic litter? Is it a concern there?

Suasco Al said...

Hi Mark, Frustrating indeed and hard to understand how polls conducted last summer showing 60% could be turned 180 degrees after the barrage of television ads with false data.
We ought to be concerned with what this says about big money's ability to manipulate public opinion.
I recall one Boston television outlet executive saying it wasn't his job to determine whether ads are truthful or not.
Does that mean anything goes?

Suasco Al said...

Artistatexit0, Well said!

Bernie Paquette said...

Does Mass. have a mandatory recycling law(s).

BaffinPaddler said...

I really haven't seen much litter around our lakes and rivers here in Quebec and Ontario (Canada) while paddling, cycling, or hiking. I don't really don't know why. There are conservation groups that do some clean ups, and I've seen more and more recycling receptacles. I think educating young children in schools is a good start for the future, keep educating the public, and for sure, more collection bins at trail heads and boat launches might help.I try to avoid products with too much plastic packaging and refillable bottles seems to be popular up here. U.S. cities and population is much larger than Canada - could be the sheer numbers - bigger waste problems . . . Keep up your good work :)You inspire and educate people.

Suasco Al said...

Hi Bernie, Massachusetts has a "Waste Ban" which prohibits certain items from being placed in trash receptacles intended for incineration/landfilling. Recyclables are on the list of banned materials. It's very hard to enforce the ban on homeowners. Perhaps easier to enforce on businesses.
Sounds like "Pay as you throw" works the best where folks pay a fee per trash container, while recyclables are free.

Suasco Al said...

Hi BaffinPaddler, Thanks for sharing what sounds like a winning combination in Canada: education, more recycling receptacles at trailheads and folks using refillable containers rather than disposable plastic ones.