BOSTON, Mass. — State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) says Middlesex and Worcester district residents are behind an expansion of the bottle bill recently passed by the Massachusetts State Senate.
The bill was passed July 19 as part of the Senate's recent Jobs Bill. The new initiative would expand the state's 5-cent deposit on beer and soda containers to water, juice and sports drinks.
The bill now heads to a conference committee, where the House and Senate will reconcile the different versions passed by each body before sending it to the governor for his signature.
"Updating the Bottle Bill is a common-sense law that would help increase recycling and reduce litter in our parks, along our roads and in our streams," Eldridge said. Eldridge is one of the bill's co-sponsors.
"More constituents have emailed, sent letters or called my office in support of this bill than in support of any other issue over the past four years," he said. "Hundreds and hundreds have weighed in, asking for support and help in moving the legislation through the Senate."
In addition, he cited a recent poll by independent think tank MassINC, which found that 77 percent of those polled support the expanded bill.
The expanded bottle bill has run into resistance from beverage companies, who have argued that the bill will needlessly increase prices for consumers.
In a report released last week, however, the Coalition for the Updated Bottle Bill estimated that Massachusetts could create or preserve more than 1,500 jobs by expanding the deposit system.