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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 5, 2019 04:00 PM
From: Representative Wendy Ullman
To: All House members
Subject: Implementing a Beverage Bottle and Can Deposit Program in Pennsylvania
Far too often, discarded recyclable beverage containers end up in landfills or become litter along our roads, in our fields, or floating in our waters. In fact, beverage containers make up roughly six percent of the waste stream and 40-60 percent of all litter. Curbside recycling helps address this issue, but we should do more to encourage recycling when beverage consumption occurs away from consumers’ homes.

In an effort to address the issue, I will be introducing legislation that would create a five cent beverage bottle and can deposit program in Pennsylvania. Like legislation that has been enacted in other states, this proposal would include a redemption rate of five cents on returnable containers and a handling fee of two cents per container for retailers and redemption centers to help cover their costs associated with the handling and storage of returnable containers. Additionally, any unclaimed or abandoned deposits forfeited by consumers would be recaptured by the Commonwealth and deposited into the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

Beverage container deposits dramatically increase recycling rates for aluminum, glass, and plastic bottles and cans. According to the Container Recycling Institute, in the 10 states that have beverage container deposit (“bottle bill”) laws, recycling rates for aluminum and glass are as high as 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively. In states that do not have these laws, the recycling rates fall to 46 percent for aluminum and 12 percent for glass. Given these statistics, I believe we should act now to further encourage recycling in Pennsylvania.

Please join me in supporting this legislation to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

Introduced as HB1322