Lawmakers consider bottle bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Michigan has one. Indiana doesn’t. But now there is talk of implementing a refundable deposit program for cans and bottles in the Hoosier State. 

The concept is simple - consumers receive 5 cents for every can or bottle they turn in for recycling.
The Indiana Senate and House Environmental Affairs committees held an informational hearing Monday morning to discuss the pros and cons of passing what is referred to as a “Bottle Bill.”

A recent survey conducted by Ball State’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs found 73 percent of Hoosiers polled supported the idea of a statewide refundable deposit program.

Environmental experts predict the program could keep more than 3 billion beverage containers from ending up in Indiana landfills each year.

During a two hour hearing, lobbyists from the retail, beverage and plastic bottle industries argued against implementing a Bottle Bill. 

“We don't consider ourselves trash deposit sites and believe there are other more effective ways to deal with the critical and important role of recycling in our State” said Monahan.

Currently, ten states have passed bottle bills.  Supporters of the programs say they work.

“The average redemption rate across the 10 bottle bill states is 82%.  So the nickel is very powerful. It gives you a buy in to the stake of helping” said Steve Segebarth who spoke to lawmakers as a representative of the glass bottle industry.

Opponents argue bottle deposit and redemption programs are nothing more than a tax on consumers.  The five cents consumers get back is the five extra cents they paid per bottle or can at the time of purchase.

A lobbyist for the Indiana retail Association said the practice of turning in bottles and cans for cash creates a health issue and administrative burden for stores.

The committees did not make any decisions on the issue. The topic could be further discussed in committee this summer.

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I work for Owens-Illinois in Lapel Indiana, I'am the president of the Central States Protective League. I'am greatly in favor of a bottle bill coming to our state. The amount of glass that is going to our landfills is unfathomable. If this glass was recycled the proper way and returned to the manufacturing companies it would cut back on our emissions and gas usage to operate our plants. Once the glass is dumped at the landfills it is contaminated and unusable for the remanufacturing of glass bottles. We need to pass this bill for all the states to help aid in the recycling of the glass back into new bottles. Glass Is Life!

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