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Today we are filing today a ballot initiative known as the Updated Bottle Bill. This proposed law would add water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to the existing 5-cent deposit law. When this measure becomes law, there will be less litter, more recycling, and millions of taxpayer dollars saved in the reduced cost of waste disposal in our cities and towns.
We have tried to get the Legislature to pass this bill for years. It is long overdue. The bottle bill is a proven success. It has successfully reduced litter in our parks, beaches and roadways. It has increased our recycling and reduced the cost of waste disposal for taxpayers in our cities and towns. As a result, it is very popular with the public.
The original signers of the ballot question include Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, leaders of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, Massachusetts Sierra Club, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and other prominent organizations.
Over 200 cities and towns in the Commonwealth have passed resolutions in support of the update According to a statewide poll conducted by MassINC Polling Group, 77% of Massachusetts residents support an update of the bottle bill. Many businesses and civic leaders support the update, including Governor Deval Patrick, Governor Michael Dukakis, Mayor Thomas Menino, Republican State Senator Robert Hedlund and State Representative Dan Winslow, as well as bill sponsors Democratic State Senator Cynthia Creem and State Representative Jonathan Hecht. We have the endorsement of over 300 small businesses and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
This ballot initiative is being undertaken by a coalition of over 90 organizations, led by MASSPIRG, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Sierra Club, and including the Charles River Conservancy, Mass. Audubon Society, and many more.
This bill makes sense for the public, and filing it as a ballot question after years of trying to pass it in the Legislature reinforces that the citizens’ voice can and will be heard.
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