Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said he will not approve the proposed repeal of the state's 27-year-old bottle-deposit bill, because it does not include a plan to improve recycling rates or provide assurance to consumers that retailers won't raise prices to offset income loss from the nickel deposit.
The governor, in the text of his July 20 veto message, said he would return the bill to the Legislature without his signature, so that an alternative to the existing bottle bill can be developed that will improve waste diversion and recycling in the state.
Although I am sympathetic to those who argue that the current bottle-bill system is broken, this bill as written, without additional consumer protections or a plan to improve our recycling rate, does not move us forward, he said.
The Delaware House had overwhelmingly approved the repeal of the state's 5-cent deposit on plastic and glass beverage bottles earlier this month, and the Senate had approved the repeal by a 12-6 vote.
Markell has directed the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the state Economic Development office to work with legislators, beverage distributors, retailers and environmentalists to develop an alternative to the current bill that will comprehensively examine how beverage bottles are distributed, sold, returned and recycled.
My hope is that we can propose a workable solution when the General Assembly returns in January, Markell said.
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