It’s Time to Modernize and Bring Regional Uniformity to New England’s Bottle Bills

Op-Ed by Charles Broll, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NWNA 
As seen in the Hartford Courant, 7/21/19

When it comes to the environment, we should all be able to agree on one thing: Non-compostable packaging should never end up as waste in a landfill or litter in communities or waterways.

However, despite this consensus, recycling has been on the decline, both here in Connecticut and nationally.

Nestlé Waters North America is determined to be part of the solution. We’ve begun transitioning the packaging for our largest domestic brand, Poland Spring, to 100 percent recycled plastic by 2022 — literally making bottles with bottles. But we can’t meet this goal on our own. We’re calling on Connecticut — and all consumers — to recycle even more. An increase in recycling diverts materials from landfills and creates additional raw materials for processing and re-use providing local economic and other community benefits.

We also need lawmakers in Hartford to adopt policies to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and convenience of current collection and recycling systems.

Connecticut is one of 11 “bottle bill” states and territories. Bottle bills work by charging a deposit on a container at the time of purchase, which is then returned to the consumer when the empty bottle is returned. Bottle bills have played an important role in controlling waste and promoting recycling of beverage containers. However, many of the laws were enacted decades ago and have not kept up with an ever-changing packaging and distribution landscape. In Connecticut, container redemption rates have steadily declined from 63.8 percent in 2009 to only 50.7 percent in 2017.

Read full Op-Ed.