Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More on bottle deposits

Got some comments from readers about why water bottles carry no deposit -- and that there seem to be a lot of them by the side of the road.

That is a good point. If the idea is to reduce littering, why not apply the deposit to all bottles?

And is it time to rethink the amount? Would you stop to pick up a dime? Would you stop to pick up a can? Do you worry what sort of germs or viruses are on that can?

Also, the deposit is the same for a small bottle as a large bottle. This does affect consumers' choices about what to buy. Notice how small bottles are disappearing? Is this part of the reason we are moving as a nation to the Big Drink (and the big calories)?

I should point out here that the current rules for garbage pickup of recyclables contributes to littering and is not very green.

Ever see the sides of the roads on a windy garbage-pickup day? And what about the trash that blows out of the tops of those trucks when the net does not quite fit.

I think one of the problems here is that we citizens have turned this problem over to the government and our responsibility seems to stop there.

The cleanest countries in the world are those where every person takes responsibility for every bit of trash they encounter. The dirtiest are those were everyone assumes it is someone else's responsibility.

And governments don't do that well on controlling litter.

Michigan is a good example. Our bottle return program has gaps, it is expensive and it irritates most businesses and most people. We can do better.


Blogger Karen Workman said...

Glad to hear this being talked about again!

My very first centerpiece was about this issue, way back in 2007. A bill had been introduced then that would've expanded the deposit to noncarbonated beverages, because think about it — it's not just water bottles, but juices and sports drinks and tea and all the other good stuff we drink nowadays that isn't fizzy.

The bill apparently went nowhere, as did similar bills before it. The food and beverage industry feels very strongly about not expanding the deposit law — or at least that was the case when I wrote about it in 2007.

Here's the link:

June 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM 
Blogger Roger Wingelaar said...

I guess that is my complaint, the law seems to have certain irritations built into it that serve no purpose. Were they installed to make this law distasteful to consumers? Let's get real here. This law will not go away. So can we please fix it so it is more user-friendly?

June 15, 2011 at 2:30 PM 

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