The Senate voted to expand the bottle redemption law to cover more beverages, including water and energy drinks. Last session, the House declined to agree to a bottle bill expansion plan added by the Senate to an economic development bill.
The expanded “bottle bill” has been a mainstay of State House debates for years, with environmentalists arguing that it is an effective program to increase recycling, while opponents have argued that it is an outdated approach that would burden retailers with taking in more used bottles and cans and increase consumer prices.
The Senate budget amendment exempts “dairy products, beverages containing a minimum of 10 percent juice, infant formula and medicines” from the expansion, which would include a range of new beverage containers defined as “noncarbonated soft drinks, including, but not limited to mineral water, flavored and unflavored water, spring water, fruit drinks that contain less than 10 percent juice, sports drinks and other water beverages, coffee and coffee-based drinks.” The 5 percent deposit currently applies to beer and carbonated beverages.
Category: Legislative Update