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Re: E-M:/ Bottle-return debate

Michigan's bottle deposit and return law IS our state's most successful recycling program.

Well over 90% of all containers covered by the bottle deposit law are returned for recycling. We will never achieve that rate regardless of any punitive measure you would attempt to enforce.

The bottle deposit law places the burden of recycling on the manufacturers and sellers of the products who use this packaging. They are the ones who profit from the sale of the products that use this packaging and therefore they should be responsible for the type of packaging they use.

Transforming from a bottle deposit law to general recycling programs for this packaging does two things:
1) It will DECREASE our recycling rate by ending the method of recycling that is most effective for this particular packaging.
2) It transfers the cost and responsibility of recycling these containers from the manufacturers and sellers of the product to the general public. In effect implementing a recycling program that is less effective than a bottle deposit law is a public subsidy to the manufacturers and sellers.

We need to apply the recycling program that is most effective for each product instead of one recycling program attempting to capture all products.

The bottle deposit law is the best way to recycle the packaging for single serving containers. We need to improve our recycling rate by extending the bottle deposit law to single serving non-carbonated beverages such as water, tea, juice and sports drinks. We also need to provide broader and easier locations for returning the bottles.

Michigan's excellent bottle deposit law is an exceptional example of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and should be seen as a shining example of how to apply EPR to other products to achieve the highest level of recycling possible. Another exceptional example is the deposit we pay for lead-acid batteries for our cars.

We need to keep the bottle deposit law and not place further burden on the budgets of local municipalities.

On Aug 21, 2006, at 12:10 PM, HAMILTREEF@aol.com wrote:

Empty promises make for unhappy returns
Nearly 30 years after Michigan voters approved one of the nation's most sweeping bottle-return laws, the simple experience of returning bottles and cans remains a lawless frontier.
Policies, especially among smaller stores, vary so widely customers often are left holding the bag -- or bags.
Stores don't want bottle law expanded
Merchants think there is a better way and are throwing their support behind a "penny plan" bill in the state Legislature.
Backers say they are gearing up for committee hearings in the next several months, but no one expects any real action until after the election year.
Brad van Guilder, Ph. D.
Community Organizer

Ecology Center
117 North Division Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1580

(734) 663-2400 ext 114
(734) 663-2414 FAX
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