As of October 1, water bottles can be redeemed for a nickel, marking a significant expansion in CT’s bottle bill law. The law has the potential of removing nearly 500 million of the plastic containers from CT’s waste stream each year, Governor M. Jodi Rell announced.
“You cannot go anywhere these days without seeing someone carrying a bottle of water. They are a staple of every day life, but unfortunately, also a staple of everyday littering,” Governor Rell said. “For almost 30 years, our bottle bill has kept billions of bottles and cans of soda or beer from our landfills. Now we can build on that success by diverting even more plastic out of our waste stream.
Adding on water bottles and other non-carbonated beverages to the bill is the first major change in the history of the state’s bottle bill, established almost three decades ago. The law is intended to keep hundreds of millions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles out of the state’s landfills and into the recycling stream where they can be reused for other products.
The state Department of Environmental Protection estimates that 500 million water bottles are sold in CT each year. Unclaimed deposits – called escheats – will return an estimated $17 million in water bottle purchases to the state.
“A generation of Connecticut residents has grown up with recycling as the law of the land. They’ve learned to pick up, pack up and properly dispose of bottles and cans,” Governor Rell said. “Adding water bottles to the recycling mix instead of our landfills is a natural move.”
CT is one of 11 states in the nation that requires deposits on beverage containers. Although specific provisions may vary state to state, all 11 states have a system where consumers are charged a small deposit on a container at the time of purchase, which is rebated to the consumer when the empty bottle is returned.
For more information on the new bottle bill and recycling in CT visit www.ct.gov/dep and click on the Materials and Waste Management link.