Fact or Fiction?
arguments against a Bottle
CLAIM: The bottle bill is a tax
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,
cannot be considered a tax.
FACT: One way, throwaway,
no-deposit, no - return beverage
containers are a corporate
subsidy, a litter clean-up on
our highways, streets and
FACT: Because 70% or more of the
deposit containers are returned,
taxpayers pay less for disposal,
less for litter pickup, and less
CLAIM: Deposits rob curbside
programs of valuable aluminum
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
CLAIM: Deposit return is
inconvenient (consumers prefer
home curbside collection).
FACT: Curbside is still not
available to 50% of the American
FACT: Curbsides don´t address
FACT: Tripling the curbside
access has not stemmed the tide
FACT: People are going back to
stores to shop anyway: special
trips are rare.
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
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
FACT: The most effective
recycling programs in the world
are comprised of curbside PLUS
deposit. Systems that eliminate
one or the other component are
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.