It is not clear yet whether Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will sign a bill passed earlier this month that would repeal the state's 5-cent deposit on plastic and glass beverage bottles, effective Sept. 1.
The state General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the measure. Once he receives it, Markell has 10 days to sign or veto the bill, or to let it become law without his signature.
Delaware has had a bottle-deposit program since 1982, and it would be the first state to repeal such a measure.
State Rep. John Viola, D-Newark, who sponsored the repeal, said three of four neighboring states have higher bottle recycling rates than Delaware, without deposit laws.
Single-stream, curbside recycling is the future for recycling, not a nickel deposit, he said.
Viola said another reason the law needs to be repealed is that Delaware cities including Wilmington and Newark have curbside recycling programs that rely on collected recyclables.
The proposal would apply to all beverages in containers that are less than 2 quarts.
The repeal measure comes at a time when states like Oregon, Connecticut and New York have expanded their bottle bills to include water bottles.
Oregon's expanded deposit bill went into effect Jan. 1. Connecticut's bill, passed in March, goes into effect Oct. 1.
Implementation of the expanded deposit program in New York was scheduled for June 1, but is on hold until April, pending the outcome of a lawsuit by the International Bottled Water Association, Nestlé Waters North America Inc. and Polar Corp.
Six of the 11 states with deposit bills include carbonated soft drink, beer and water bottles. California, Maine and Hawaii include water, beer, soft drink and other non-carbonated beverages such as tea and energy drinks in their bottle deposit programs.
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