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About the ballot initiative

The text of the initiative



The Bottle Bill, the nickel deposit on beverage containers, is the state’s most successful recycling and litter prevention program.

Since the Bottle Bill's passage in 1983, over 35 billion containers have been redeemed, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But to keep up with the times and consumers' tastes, the bottle bill must be updated.

An Updated Bottle Bill would expand our container deposit system to include “new age” drinks such as non-carbonated beverages, water, iced tea, juice, and sports drinks. It would decrease litter and increase recycling.

An estimated 3.3 billion beverages are consumed annually in Massachusetts, of which 1.3 billion are “new-age” (e.g. water, sports drinks, flavored teas), and this number is only expected to increase. As consumers purchase more of these beverages, an increasing number of containers are finding their way to landfills and by the sides of our roads.

Subscribe to the Updated Bottle Bill Email list! Join the effort to help pass the bottle bill update! Click here.

Will the Legislature act on the Bottle Bill by the deadline?

The Updated Bottle Bill is the single most effective recycling and litter-reducing tool we have. But despite huge support, it's been languishing in the Legislature for over a twelve years. Click here to tell your legilators that this is the last chance they have to pass this bill. If they drop the ball, we head to the ballot.

"Bottle Bill" is joined by Lynn Wolbarst (LWVMA), Ken Pruitt (ELM), Janet Domenitz (MASSPIRG) and Ryan Black, (MA Sierra Club) as they announced the filing of the ballot petition.

News Update

Click here to volunteer for the May-June signature drive!

This past Fall, over 130,000 people signed the initiative petition qualifying the Updated Bottle Bill to be on the ballot. The legislature now has an opportunity to pass this - or an acceptable compromise. The bill's special hearing was on March 6, and as a result, a committee is seeking possible common ground. In any case, we are moving forward with the next step: preparing to gather the second round of signatures starting in May, and then we will head to the ballot! Although we need fewer signatures than before, we have a shorter period to do this. If we're going to meet our goal, volunteer commitment is critical. Read the March 25 Bottle Bill Update Newsletter - click here

Click here to read more about the ballot initiative.l

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Bottle Bill Facts
An updated report on the facts and figures behind the bottle bill update. Click here.

Sierra Club Report on S.379, the Bottling Industry's so-called "Recycling" Bill
The Sierra Club's
in-depth report asserts that the industry proposal nothing more than an effort to kill the most successful recycling mechanism in the state  Download the report

The Impact of the Bottle Bill Update on Jobs in the Economy - An Analysis of Employment in the Recycling Sector, July 2012:   click here.

Rebuttal to the Claims: An analysis of the points raised by Rep. John Keenan (D-Salem) in his Op-Ed to the Salem Evening News, June 16, 2012. Click here.

Curbside vs. Bottle Bills: Access to curbside recycling has been rising for years, so why doesn’t it have a stronger effect on the beverage container recycling rate?  Click here.

208 Cities and Towns Support the Bottle Bill Update: Our of the state's 351 municipalities, 208 have asked their State Representatives and Senators to Support the Bottle Bill Update. Click here for the list, click here to view a map.

The History of the Massachusetts Bottle Bill: In the late 1970s, groups began to advocate for container deposits. Before then, most beverages were sold in refillable bottles that carried a deposit to encourage people to return them. Click here.

Study Confirms that Containers Make up 15% of Waste Stream: Despite bottlers claims that beverage containers make up a 12/100 of 1%, an analysis of the State's waste data proves that containers are the second most prevalent item in household trash, just behind paper. The figure is 150 times greater than bottlers have been alleging. Click here to read the report.

Study concludes that the Bottle Bill Update will result in job gains. While the recycling's impact on jobs has been the subject of several studies in recent years, Returning to Work is the first report to take into account the vital importance of material quality, throughput quantities, processing dynamics and end-user needs to analyze the net gains in domestic jobs when beverage containers are recovered through recycling. Learn more about the report --- Download PDF [3.23MB]