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E-M:/ Survey Shows Strong Support for Bottle Bill Expansion



Title:

Bigger Better Bottle Bill Coalition Releases Survey Showing Overhelming Support For Bottle Bill Expansion


Call for Legislative Action This Year

LANSING — During a press conference today at the capitol, the Bigger Better Bottle Bill Coalition called for legislative action on the expansion of Michigan’s beverage container law, releasing survey results showing widespread support for the issue.

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill Coalition has formed to explore the potential of expanding Michigan’s Bottle Bill to include a .10 return on bottles from water, juice, tea, and sports drinks.  Members of the Coalition include the Container Recycling Institute, Ecology Center, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, National Wildlife Federation, Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, and Sierra Club.

“We’ve given the Legislature ample time to act on this issue,” said Sam Washington, MUCC Executive Director.  “We’ve got to fix this litter problem before it gets worse.  If the Legislature doesn’t work to expand the bottle bill by the end of the year, we’ll have to take matters into our own hands.”

“Michigan’s citizens care deeply about our environment,” said Lana Pollack, Executive Director of the Michigan Environmental Council.  “Voters in 80 of Michigan’s 83 counties approved the Bottle Bill back in 1976.  Now we’re calling on the Legislature to do their part.”

“The four billion bottles and cans recycled each year under Michigan’s Bottle Bill save energy and reduces air pollution,” explained Mike Garfield, Executive Director of the Ecology Center. “The energy alone saved from recycling these containers is equivalent to 300,000 barrels of oil.  That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars per month!”

            “A random survey of registered Michigan voters shows widespread support for an expansion of the Bottle Bill,” explained Mary Pitcher of the Michigan Association for Conservation Districts.  “Over 73% of those surveyed supported adding a 10-cent deposit to noncarbonated drinks such as water, juice, and ice tea.  Fifty six percent of the public supports an expanded bottle bill to control litter, while another 28 % support the measure to promote recycling and to help the environment.”

“This is something Senator Sikkema and Representative Johnson should be jumping on,” said Jeff Irwin, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  “Our survey results show the issue crosses both party lines and the rural/city divide.  A bottle bill expansion is supported equally by 74% of democrats and republicans, and is especially favored by the West and Northern Lower regions of Michigan.”

“Expanding the bottle bill not only supports local wildlife and a healthy ecosystem, but has global consequences as well,” said Zoe Lipman, Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Office.  “The amount of pollution saved from the recycling we do today is equivalent to the emissions from 3.4 million cars.  An expanded bottle bill expands recycling efforts and helps solve our global warming problems.”

About 750 million non-carbonated beverages are sold in Michigan each year, or about 20% of all beverage sales.  Michigan’s Bottle Bill is the best in the country, recovering over 95% of the state’s returnable bottles and cans.  Many of the popular single-serve beverages today did not exist when the Bottle Bill was passed in 1976 and are now littering our roadsides and parks. 

MUCC has represented the views of millions of conservationists since 1937, with over 500 affiliated clubs whose mission is uniting citizens to conserve Michigan’s natural resources and protect our outdoor heritage.  For more information, visit www.mucc.org.

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NOTE: Copies of the survey results will be posted at mucc.org by 5/25.

The survey was conducted by Public Policy Associates of 1000 registered voters in Michigan and has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1%.

Submitted  by:

James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council
www.mecprotects.org
(517) 487-9539