Environmental Commission Supports Idea Of Bottle Bill

The Environmental Commission on September 18 voted to support an effort to establish a bottle bill in New Jersey.

Ten other states in the country have such bills, which are designed to increase recycling rates for bottles made of glass, plastic and aluminum.

The effort is being led by the Washington, D.C.-based Clean Water Action.

“I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t consider sending a general letter of support,” Commissioner Robin Suydam said.

“I think it makes sense. I’m the one who’s out there on Skillman’s Lane picking up the trash,” she said.

As envisioned by Clean Water Action, the Bottle Bill would set a 10-cent refundable deposit on beverage bottles. States that do have the so-called Deposit Return Systems recycle approximately 60 percent of beverage bottles, while those states that do not have a system recycle approximately 24 percent of beverage bottles, according to Clean Water Action’s web site.

Commissioner Ted Chase noted that the idea of a deposit on bottles has been kicking around in New Jersey for a long time, but is opposed by bottle manufacturers, many of which are located in New Jersey.

“The glass producers want to sell as many bottles as possible, so they don’t want the bottles (recycled),” he said. “And if you’re going to have a bottle reused, the glass has to be thicker, so it’s more expensive” to produce.

The last time a bottle bill was introduced in the state Legislature was 2020, said Tara Kenyon, the Township’s Open Space consultant.

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