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Texas Bottle Bill

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Fact or Fiction?

 Opponents' arguments against a Bottle Bill

CLAIM: The bottle bill is a tax on consumers.
FACT: The bottle bill is not a tax since deposits are 100% refundable. Those who do not redeem their containers make a voluntary choice not to do so, and therefore unclaimed deposits cannot be considered a tax.
inspectingFACT: One way, throwaway, no-deposit, no - return beverage containers are a corporate subsidy, a litter clean-up on our highways, streets and waterways.
FACT: Because 70% or more of the deposit containers are returned, taxpayers pay less for disposal, less for litter pickup, and less curbside recycling.


CLAIM: Deposits rob curbside programs of valuable aluminum can revenue.
FACT: Curbside programs are failing to adequately capture aluminum cans. Despite a tripling in curbside access in the last decade (2711 programs in 1990, 9709 in 2000), the U.S. aluminum can recycling rate went from 65% in 1992 to 49% in 2001. 1 The quantity of cans wasted from 1990- 2000 increased from 554,000 to 691,000 tons a year and the amount of PET beverage bottles landfilled and incinerated rose from 359,000 to 943,000 tons per year. 2
FACT: Curbside programs do not target cans & bottles consumed away from home.
FACT: Deposits reduce collection costs to municipalities by removing cumbersome, low-value glass and plastic from the waste stream. Plastic bottles are cumbersome to collect at curbside (low weight-to-volume ratio) 3, mixed-colored glass is heavy and has a low scrap value and is often difficult to market. 4

CLAIM: Deposit return is inconvenient (consumers prefer home curbside collection).
FACT: Curbside is still not available to 50% of the American population. 5
FACT: Curbsides don´t address away-from-home consumption.
FACT: Tripling the curbside access has not stemmed the tide of waste. 6
FACT: People are going back to stores to shop anyway: special trips are rare. 7


CLAIM: Bottle Bills increase the price of beverage containers.
FACT: Although 5 cents is added to the cost of a bottle or can when you buy the beverage, it is fully refunded when you return it! If you choose not to return it, the unredeemed deposit is used to fund the administrative costs, help fund the recycling industry and fund recycling programs through education.
Donald Dowd, V.P. of Coca Cola of New England, stated "our prices pre-bottle bill and post-bottle bill are virtually the same." 8


CLAIM: Fraud will cause the loss of millions of dollars.
FACT: Buying a beverage in a non bottle bill state and returning it to a state with a bottle bill, is considered "fraud". The low-cost method of a different barcode in bottle bill states virtually eliminates fraud.


CLAIM: There must be a better way.
FACT: The most effective recycling programs in the world are comprised of curbside PLUS deposit. Systems that eliminate one or the other component are ineffective.


1) The State of Garbage in America "BioCycle" December 2001.
2) Container Recycling Institute.
3) Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State & Local Governments "U.S. Environmental" Protection Agency September 1997.
4) Jenny Gitlitz "Glass Recycling Market Trends, Contamination Problems Discussed" American Recycler Vol 4 No. 10, October 2001.
5) The State of Garbage in America "BioCycle" December 2001.
6) The State of Garbage in America "BioCycle" December 2001.
7) Reported by DSM Environmental Services, Inc.
8) Boston Globe, Nov. 22, 1989.

space saver 

beach litter

Sometimes empty drink containers are not taken care of
even when receptacles are available.