This opinion piece was submitted by Louise Domenitz.
A “yes” vote on Question 2 will update the highly successful Bottle Bill law to include a refundable five cent deposit on water bottles, sports drinks, teas and other beverage bottles that are ending up in our streets, parks, ballfields, streams and beaches. The Bottle Bill, the state’s single most effective recycling initiative and anti-litter program, needs updating to include the many types of “on-the-go” beverage containers that did not exist when it was originally passed in 1982. Curbside recycling doesn’t address this because most of us don’t carry our empties home to recycle.
A “Yes on 2” would also re-establish the Clean Environment Fund, earmarking unclaimed deposits to improve recycling, clean up parks and fund other environmental projects. Right now, abandoned nickels go to a state’s General Fund, the update would correct that and get those funds working towards environmental projects.
“Yes on 2” is supported by the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Environmental League of Mass (ELM), the League of Women Voters, MassPIRG, and many other groups, towns, cities, and elected officials, including Gov. Patrick.
“No on 2” is bankrolled by the Washington-based American Beverage Association. They’ve already spent $7.6 million on TV and internet ads containing factual errors and misleading info.
Voting “YES on 2” will:
- Stop litter in our communities, parks and open spaces.
- Increase recycling rates. Right now, 85 percent of bottles with refundable deposits are redeemed/recycled, compared with 23 percent of bottles without deposits. The rest end up as trash or litter.
- Save millions of dollars for cities and towns. About $6.7 million a year, an average of $1 per person living in Massachusetts, is spent on litter pick-up and trash disposal costs.
The Yes on 2/Belmont is asking your help to get the word out.
Phone Banks are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., or 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please sign up here to help make calls:<http://www.yeson2ma.org/wp/campaign-events/>
We will canvas every weekend up to Election Day. Contact us to join.
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