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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2020 08:34 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Providing for a Beverage Bottle and Can Deposit Program
Far too often, discarded recyclable beverage containers end up in landfills or become litter along our roadways, in our fields, or floating in our streams and rivers. In fact, beverage containers make up roughly six percent of the waste stream and 40-60 percent of all litter. Curbside recycling is helpful in reducing waste, but we must do more to encourage recycling when beverage consumption occurs away from consumers’ homes, where recycling options are often not easily accessible or readily available.

In an effort to address the issue, I will be introducing legislation that would create a beverage bottle and can deposit program in Pennsylvania. Similar to legislation that has been enacted in several 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.

It is important to keep in mind that beverage container deposit programs dramatically increase recycling rates for aluminum, glass, 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. However, in states without beverage container deposit programs, the recycling rates fall to 46 percent for aluminum and just 12 percent for glass. Given these statistics, I believe we have a responsibility to do more to encourage recycling in Pennsylvania.

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

Introduced as HB579