Action Alert January 10
Happy New Year!
The 2008 Legislative Session is officially upon us! Yesterday the WV Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Control Act (AKA Bottle Bill) was introduced in both the House (HB 2773) and Senate (SB 135). We will keep you posted as the session progresses.... In the meantime, please scroll down to see what's going on in other parts of the country!
More Californians Cashing In on Recyclables <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=bfsuAmsjVhjw2hOJFovcTU%2F%2Bp93whq sB> . By Tom Abdolla, The Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2007. "Californians recycled more than 6.9 billion beverage containers in the first half of 2007, up nearly 800 million from the same period a year ago, the state's largest recycling-rate increase in the last 15 years, according to a recent study released by the state's Department of Conservation. And officials think they know why. In January, the state increased the California Refund Value to a nickel for small beverage containers and a dime for large ones. The respective one- and two-cent hikes, they believe, may have changed a lot of perceptions. 'If you see four pennies on the ground and you're walking on the street, are you going to bother to pick them up?' asked Mark Murray, executive director for Californians Against Waste <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=%2Frs3qAR1lzqQBFWC%2F8SfV0%2F%2Bp9 3whqsB> , a statewide environmental organization that focuses on recycling. 'Whereas you see a nickel or dime on the ground, you're likely to pick that up. The same thing goes to just seeing that value in a can and thinking, I'm tossing a nickel in the trash.' Officials can't know for sure why recycling has increased -- no one asks why people recycle or when they started -- but a view from the ground lends credibility to the notion that nickel-and-diming consumers has worked. Seven in 10 deposit containers are now redeemed, according to the study."
Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels
In 2007, the media and public began to express growing concern over the environmental impacts of bottled water use, including the energy required to produce bottled water. Numerous high-profile articles and editorials reported that an estimated 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent were needed to produce the bottles for annual U.S. bottled water consumption. The estimate turns out to be incorrect.
A recent assessment by the Pacific Institute, Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels <http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/bottled_water_factsheet.pdf> , concludes the actual amount of energy required just to manufacture the plastic bottles consumed by the U.S. in 2006 was ten times higher--the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil. The Earth Policy Institute and the Container Recycling Institute, to whom the incorrect figure was previously attributed, have reviewed the new calculation and have adopted this higher value. The full analysis is available below:
Download Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels <http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/bottled_water_factsheet.pdf> (PDF)
National bottle bill proposed
With an average of over 350 million beverage containers landfilled, incinerated or littered every day nationwide, U.S. lawmakers have introduced a resolution to diminish that astounding figure, plus provide resources to establish state pollution prevention and recycling programs.
Known as the Bottle Recycling Climate Protection Act of 2007, House Resolution 4238 amends the nation's Solid Waste Disposal Act by implementing bottle recovery systems in states that currently lack such a system. The resolution establishes a five-cent refund value on metal, glass and plastic containers up to one gallon in size, which house beverages, such as sports drinks, juice, iced tea, wine cooler, beer or other malt beverage, all forms of water or a carbonated nonalcoholic beverage. The resolution also requires distributors to pay a handling fee of three cents.
Unclaimed refunds, under the measure, would fund state programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would take effect two years after passage.