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Re: E-M:/ RE: / Bottle Bill Expansion editorials



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Enviro-Mich message from Steve Gutterman <sgutt@umich.edu>
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No doubt the anti-bottle billers are comparing apples and oranges when they
conflate Michigan's recycling rates (of what, by whom, when, where?) with
those of other states.  This should be an easy argument to refute.  Can
anyone suggest credible sources for specific category recycling rates?

The Michigan Food & Beverage Association and the deceptively named Michigan
Recycling Partnership are right when they say that "priorities have changed
in the 25 years since the bottle bill became law."  But the effectiveness
of the current bottle bill has not been diminished due to increases in
recycling of non-returnables over that period.  It's usefulness has been
diminished only to the extent that the beverage market has shifted
dramatically towards popular new categories of non-carbonated beverages
that did not exist when the original bill was passed, and which that bill
does not cover.  (Who could have imagined at the time that consumers would
pay as much money for a bottle of water as they would a bottle of beer?)
Updating the bottle bill to include new beverage categories, returns it to
its original intent and effect.

Placing a fee on containers  provides a powerful incentive for consumers to
return them for reuse or recycling.  But equally important, doing so
incorporates some of the true resource use, recovery and waste costs
currently externalized from the price of packaged goods, allowing those
products to be priced at their real lifecycle costs.  Unincorporated
lifecycle costs cheat the market system, which of course should be anathema
to any who claim to believe in the ultimate wisdom of the free marketplace
for setting public policy.

Regarding the anti-bottle biller's charitable concerns for food safety, as
an answer it would be great to pull out archived broadcast and print
advertisements from their 1976 campaign (if they exist), which invoked that
same scare tactic and others, including dreary future scenarios of shoppers
standing in interminable lines to return their bottles, rueful of they day
they had been foolish enough to not trust industry and voted for the
original bottle bill.

Steve Gutterman

--On Monday, February 03, 2003, 10:49 AM -0500 Mary La France
<mary.lafrance@mindspring.com> wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Mary La France" <mary.lafrance@mindspring.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Amazing, right at the time when the State administration is looking to
> curb trash imports by restricting beverage containers from crossing into
> our borders, the trash and food industry are trying to put a spin on the
> issue.
> 
> This line kills me. . . "the burden of accepting returnables was thrust
> upon the food and beverage industry in Michigan."
> 
> . . . Poor, poor trashy food industry.
> 
> Now they are now trying to pin food borne illness on bottle recycling.
> 
> Speaking of food borne illnesses, the food industry never admits that the
> main source of pathogens in our food comes from the filthy conditions in
> CAFOs that carry over to the meat processing plants. The poultry
> inspectors don't have time to watch for fecal matter when the production
> lines are shooting through 140-160 chicken carcassas per minute.
> (Historically it was 13 per minute.)
> 
> For instance, in 1999 Michigan's Thorn Apple Valley had to recall 30
> million pounds of hot dogs due to contamination. In 2000 Cargill Turkey
> products recalled 17 milllion pounds of turkey contaminated with
> Listeria. What's worse USDA records indicated that in spite of the
> recalls, much of the contaminated foods was not successfuly pulled off
> the market.
> 
> It's incredible the stuff we don't hear about and time and time again
> agencies that are charged with protecting our health instead side with the
> food producers.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net]On Behalf Of Jeff Surfus
> Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 7:01 AM
> To: Enviro-Mich
> Subject: E-M:/ Bottle Bill Expansion editorials
> 
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Jeff Surfus <jeffsurfus@comcast.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> In the past few days, the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and its
> front group, the "Michigan Recycling Partnership" have gone on the
> offensive (in more ways than one) to make sure an expansion of Michigan's
> bottle bill to bottled water, sports drinks, juices, and teas never gets
> off the ground.
> 
> Last Thursday's Detroit News had an editorial by Edward Deeb, president of
> the Michigan Food & Beverage Association.  His scare tactics include
> "major sanitation issues in our state's supermarkets" and "recent
> increases in food-borne illnesses."  I challenge Mr. Deeb to come up with
> one instance of someone getting sick as a result of our bottle bill.  His
> editorial can be read here:
> 
> http://www.detnews.com/2003/editorial/0301/30/a11-72303.htm
> 
> 
> Yesterday's Lansing State Journal included an editorial by Mary Dechow,
> chairwoman of the Michigan Recyling Partnership.  She blames the bottle
> bill for our low recycling rate, as being minimal in effectiveness, and
> for global warming (just kidding).  Her editorial can be read here:
> 
> http://www.lsj.com/opinions/editorials/030202_dechptv_(bottles).html
> 
> 
> It looks like they are setting up their misinformation and lobbying
> machine up early for what promises to be an ugly battle over the bottle
> bill expansion.
> 
> Will we ever have a world where millions aren't spent by corporations for
> media manipulation, misinformation, and plain outright lies rather than to
> make this world a better place?
> 
> Jeff Surfus
> NO WASTE
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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