Of the mountain of individual plastic water bottles created by Americans each year — including enough to hold more than seven billion gallons of water — less than one-fourth are sent to the recycling industry for a second round. That makes absolutely no sense for the environment or for the economy.The newspaper laments that only three states — California, Hawaii and Maine — put deposits on water bottles. "Passing new bottle laws or expanding old laws to include plastic bottles should be an easy call for most Legislatures. But the grocery and drink industry have been able to use their clout, and campaign funds, to keep that from happening. That needs to change." I'm happy to see the editorial writer places the blame where it belongs. Many people in the plastics industry quietly support bottle deposits. But opposition from their customers -- grocers and soft drink companies -- has made it nearly impossible for state legislatures to pass new bottle bills. Plastics News has editorially supported expanding deposit programs to more kinds of plastic bottles since 1997 -- and we've supported a national bottle bill even longer. It's a stance that hasn't been unanimously supported by all of our readers, but I think time has shown that it is the right position. Perhaps now that the NY Times has joined our bandwagon the march will pick up speed.
NYTimes supports bottle deposits
The New York Times today editorialized on the topic of plastics recycling. The bottom line: the newspaper supports expanded bottle deposit laws. The column starts with the hot-button issue of bottled water, arguing that "it is time to start thinking twice about drinking commercially bottled water." It cites the energy needed to manufacture and transport plastic bottles as an important reason. Plastic water bottles contribute to global warming and create a "huge recycling problem," the paper reports.
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