Bottled Water Return?

17 06 2008

The LSJ ran a story I first told you about a month ago.

The Michigan United Conservation Clubs said Tuesday that within a few years, sales of non-carbonated drinks will exceed soft drink sales.

Michigan’s bottle deposit law, passed by voters in 1976, imposes a dime deposit on soft drink, beer, malt beverage and wine cooler containers.

People return 97 percent of containers for which they pay a deposit. But they recycle only 20 percent of bottled water containers because no deposit is required.

WILX had a related story on bottled water consumption.

Tap water is making a comeback.
With a day’s worth of bottled water — the recommended 64 ounces — costing hundreds to thousands of dollars a year depending on the brand, more people are opting to slurp water that comes straight from the sink.

Like I said in my original post on the subject, I’m in favor of it.  I know the grocery industry is lobbying against it.  I can see their point of view on the subject, but I think the environment could use a little bit of help.  Lawmakers need to find a way to appease both groups.  You never want to drive businesses out, but you do need to make it convienent for people return the bottles.  Michigan has one of the highest return rates on bottles because of the system in place.  In all but two states (Oregon being the other) bottle returns are not done at the grocery store but at return centers.  It’s not as convienent so people don’t always take advantage of it.  It’s more economical for the grocery industry to run these centers because they don’t have to deal with the mess in their store, but for consumers, the grocery store is a stop they have to make anyway, so why not kill two birds with one stone?

The bill is HB 6000 and right now it’s in the hands of the Commerce Committee

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