The bill now heads to Governor Lamont’s desk to be signed into law.
Editor’s Note: Time will tell if this new increased bottle redemption fee will help Connecticut residents recycle more of their plastic bottles. A recycling rate of 50% is paltry, and will do little to help reduce the human impact of plastics on the environment. Perhaps if it does reach its intended goal, this, too, could serve as a model for other cities.
June 5, 2021:Press release from the Connecticut General Assembly:
State Representative Mary Mushinsky (D-85th District) applauds the passage of S.B. 1037, AN ACT CONCERNING SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT today in the House of Representatives.
S.B. 1037 – also known as the “bottle bill” – includes several provisions aimed at updating Connecticut’s bottle deposit program and increasing redemption, such as:
- Increases the deposit on beverage containers from 5 to 10 cents starting January 2024;
- Requires certain retailers that sell beverage containers captured by the bottle program to have two reverse vending machines outside of their stores starting in October 2021;
- Updates the types of beverage containers captured by the bottle program, such as containers for teas, sports drinks, juices, hard ciders, and hard seltzers;
- Allocates $5 million through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to create a grant program for new redemption centers in urban areas;
- Creates a nickel surcharge on nip bottles, which are a major source of litter in towns across the state, at the point of sale. The money will be redistributed to Connecticut towns and cities to use to reduce waste and litter;
- Directs DEEP and the liquor industry to devise a plan to remove glass from the waste stream to assist municipalities.
“The original bottle bill, which I worked to pass, performed well at first. However, the legislature did not update the law for decades due to opposition from the beverage industries, causing the return rate to fall from 90 percent to below 50 percent today,” said Rep. Mushinsky.
“The updated bottle bill puts ownership of the cost of handling this waste stream correctly on the producer and consumer of the waste, which is fair. This legislation also helps ensure our Wallingford redemption center remains open. I’d like to commend the efforts to create the compromise bill which finally passed today. Special thanks go to Speaker Ritter, Environment Committee co-chairs Senator Christine Cohen and Rep. Joe Gresko, Rep. Borer, Rep. Demicco, Vice Chair Palm and the advocates who spent decades fighting for this bill, which I expect will increase the redemption rate based on the experience of other states.”
Now that it has been passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill now heads to Governor Lamont’s desk to be signed into law.
This press release was produced by the Connecticut General Assembly. The views expressed here are the author’s own. “The original bottle bill, which I worked to pass, performed well at first. However, the legislature did not update the law for decades due to opposition from the beverage industries, causing the return rate to fall from 90 percent to below 50 percent today,” said Rep. Mushinsky.
Banner Image: Plastic Bottles For Recycling. Image Credit – Nick Fewings