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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 8, August 2012, Posted On: 8/2/2012

Mass. Lawmakers Drop Bottle Bill From Jobs Act

Emily Jed
TAGS: vending, vending machine, Massachusetts bottle bill amendment, water bottles, sports drinks, noncarbonated beverages, 5¢ redeemable deposit, Deval Patrick, recycle bottles

BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers decided to remove a "bottle bill" amendment from legislation designed to spur economic development and create jobs in the state.

The Massachusetts Senate passed an update to the state's bottle bill on July 19, expanding the 5¢ bottle deposit to include plastic containers for water, sports drinks and other noncarbonated beverages. But a legislative conference committee dropped the proposal from the final version of the jobs bill passed by the Legislature on July 31.

Under the existing 31-year-old law, carbonated soft drink and beer containers carry a 5¢ redeemable deposit that can be collected when they are returned to the store. Opponents to expanding the law have said it would have increased costs for businesses and consumers. Supporters have said it would have encouraged more recycling.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick supports the expansion. He has estimated the expansion would bring the state $22 million in unredeemed deposits and said the program reduces the cost for municipalities to recycle bottles.

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