Expanding the Massachusetts Bottle Bill

On my litter clean-ups earlier this year, I found that plastic water bottles were the most common item to be left on the sides of streets, along with cigarette butts, fast-food containers, and other items. As one part of my litter reduction campaign, I have started to research ways to reduce the number of plastic water bottles on streets in my community. I met with one of my state representatives to discuss a bottle bill in Massachusetts. This bill would put a deposit amount on water bottles in particular.

Data source: NOAA

Yesterday, I talked to my district’s representative, Representative Speliotis, about the proposed expanded bottle bill. The bill, if passed, will add a 10-cent deposit to water bottles in Massachusetts. This bill is particularly important to me because of its roots in litter prevention and clean-up.

Adding a deposit for water bottles will aid in creating a cleaner community and environment by encouraging people to turn in their bottles. My Boy Scout (Scouts BSA) troop does a bi-weekly “bottle shed” where cans and bottles are collected from the town at the transfer station and deposited to fund raise for the troop and Scouts BSA as an organization. The added deposit amount for the water bottles would benefit local organizations and programs like Scouts BSA while also creating a more environmentally safe and conscious community.

It was exciting to share my ideas with a state official and I appreciated the time to discuss my thoughts. I would like to look at how other states have successfully implemented their local bottle bills. In the meantime, I will consider other aspects of litter education.