Lawmakers spike proposal to exempt large containers from bottle redemption
For the third time in six years, state lawmakers are poised to defeat a bill designed to exempt large containers from Maine’s landmark bottle law. The Environmental and Natural Resources Committee voted 8-0 Thursday to kill a bill that would exempt containers larger than 46 ounces from the law.
Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council of Maine said the bill is the latest attempt by the beverage industry to erode a bottle law that has encouraged Mainers to recycle empty beverage containers.
“There have been multiple attempts by the bottling industry to begin the unraveling of our bottle bill and they’ve been doing that since the beginning,” he said.
Newell Augur, representing the Maine Beverage Association, said the bottle law is outdated and costly.
“Recycling is completely different now then when the bottle bill first started. When the bottle bill first started, no one knew what single-stream recycling was,” he said.
By exempting large containers from the deposit, Augur said the bill would divert more money to towns to beef up their recycling capacity.
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