Water Bottles to Officially Become Part of State Bottle Bill on Oct. 1: Expanded Recycling Will Divert Tons of Plastic Waste from Landfills

Sep 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Recycling

Water bottles can be redeemed for a nickel beginning Thursday, marking a significant expansion in Connecticut’s bottle bill law that has the potential of removing nearly 500 million of the plastic containers from Connecticut’s waste stream each year, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today.

“You cannot go anywhere these days without seeing someone carrying a bottle of water. They are a staple of every day life, but unfortunately, also a staple of everyday littering,” Governor Rell said. “For almost 30 years, our bottle bill has kept billions of bottles and cans of soda or beer from our landfills. Now we can build on that success by diverting even more plastic out of our waste stream.

“This new law is now reflective of modern times and the incredible popularity and consumption of bottled water. It makes absolute environmental sense,” Gov. Rell said.

Adding on water bottles and other noncarbonated beverages to the bill is the first major change in the history of the state’s bottle bill, established almost three decades ago. The law is intended to keep hundreds of millions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles out of the state’s landfills and into the recycling stream where they can be reused for other products.

The state Department of Environmental Protection estimates that 500 million water bottles are sold in Connecticut each year. While the expanded bottle bill was approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in February, it does not become law until October 1, 2009. Unclaimed deposits – called escheats – will return an estimated $17 million in water bottle purchases to the state.

The original “bottle bill” took effect in Connecticut on January 1, 1980. It required a 5-cent deposit on bottles or cans of beer, soda and other carbonated beverages. The new law exempts water bottles or other noncarbonated water beverage products in containers 3 liters or larger, containers made from high density polyethylene and containers produced by manufacturers who bottle and sell less than 250,000 noncarbonated beverage containers a year and who obtain an exemption from DEP.

Connecticut is one of 11 states in the nation (California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont) that requires deposits on beverage containers. Although specific provisions may vary state to state, all 11 states have a system where consumers are charged a small deposit on a container at the time of purchase, which is rebated to the consumer when the empty bottle is returned.

“A generation of Connecticut residents has grown up with recycling as the law of the land. They’ve learned to pick up, pack up and properly dispose of bottles and cans,” Governor Rell said. “Adding water bottles to the recycling mix instead of our landfills is a natural move.”

For more information on the new bottle bill and recycling in Connecticut visit www.ct.gov/dep and click on the Materials and Waste Management link.

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One Comment to “Water Bottles to Officially Become Part of State Bottle Bill on Oct. 1: Expanded Recycling Will Divert Tons of Plastic Waste from Landfills”

  1. Canada Guy says:

    We all know disposable water bottles are wasteful and bad for the environment, yet their production is growing rapidly everywhere. Just 20 years ago the market for plastic water bottles was practically nonexistent, but today we produce billions of these completely unnecessary products. There can be only one sane response, plastic water bottles must be banned!


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