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Connecticut Requires Deposit on Water Bottles

October 6th, 2009 No comments

As of Oct 1, 2009, Connecticut’s new bottle bill legislation is in full swing.

Connecticut’s bottle deposit law is not just for soda and beer anymore. In March 2009, Gov. Jodi Rell signed a deficit reduction measure that expands the deposit law, commonly known as a “bottle bill,” to include bottled water. Milk containers are still exempt.

Bottle bills require consumers to pay refundable deposits on certain beverage containers. Connecticut is one of 11 states that have such a law. Since 1980, Connecticut residents have paid a 5-cent deposit on each container of a carbonated beverage. The deposits are redeemed when the containers are returned for recycling.

The expansion of the deposit to bottled water took effect on April 1, 2009. However, manufacturers could apply for a waiver that would give them until Oct. 1, 2009 to make the necessary changes to their bottle labels. The state has granted waivers to about 40 manufacturers, according to The Connecticut Post. The new law also exempts three-liter and larger containers as well as containers made of high-density polyethylene.

The state will keep the unredeemed deposits to help its bottom line. Connecticut officials originally projected that the bottle bill expansion would bring in an additional $3.8 million by the end of June, but that was before the state granted the 40 waivers.

In an interview with the WNPR radio network, Jesse Stratton, a spokeswoman for the Sierra Club’s Connecticut chapter who has been lobbying for the expansion for years, admitted that financial considerations drove the move. But, “this really is the way to most cost effectively and efficiently assure that a very valuable commodity, this PET plastic, is actually recycled, rather than incinerated,” she told the network.

In another interview with WNPR, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, which opposed the expansion, dismissed the expanded container deposit law as “a money grab.”

“I think the other side of this is how cynical of a public policy this is,” Stevens added. “The legislature is betting that the citizens don’t recycle.”

Despite excuses, statistics have shown that bottle bill states have a much better percentage of increased recycling and a decrease in littering over non-bottle bill states.

More Details of the Legislation: CT Bottle Bill

North Carolina Law to Ban Plastic Bottles from Landfills

October 5th, 2009 1 comment

Earth911 article by Trey Granger

Under a new law that takes effect Oct. 1, North Carolina will be banning all rigid plastic containers from landfills. This includes any bottles with a neck smaller than the container itself.

The legislation was created back in 2005, and will focus largely on the recovery of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This plastic, commonly identified by the number “1″ inside a recycling symbol on the bottle, is the resin of choice for most soda and water bottles.

North Carolina is also building the nation’s largest facility to recycle PET bottles, which will able to process 280 million pounds of material per year. One of the primary partners in this venture is carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries Group, LLC, which can turn recycled PET into polyester for use in carpeting.

North Carolina is already home to the second largest high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycling facility in the U.S., Envision Plastics. HDPE is the other commonly used plastic bottle resin, which can be found in detergent bottles and milk jugs.

The state will be inspecting landfills starting in October, but it’s unlikely that individuals will be fined for trashing plastic bottles unless they are caught unloading a large amount.

“It’s not going to be a Big Brother law, but the best way to be in compliance with the law is to recycle plastic bottles,” says Scott Mouw, environmental supervisor for the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. “Everyone wants to do the right thing, and the right thing is to recycle.”

North Carolina already has a substantial list of items banned from landfills, which ranges from aluminum cans to white goods. Also being added to the banned products list in October is motor oil filters.

While PET and HDPE represent the largest population of plastic bottles, a growing alternative are bioplastics. These are made of renewable materials that biodegrade in a commercial compost system.

Please find the Original Earth911 Article here.