By Carol McCracken (Post # 768)
The State Legislature’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously against two proposed pieces of legislation that would have rolled back Maine’s bottle bill yesterday, according to a press release from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, (“NRCM”).
The Committee members voted against two bills that would have exempted wine bottles from the deposit system. The other bill they opposed would have rolled back all deposits to 5 cents and exempted all bottles larger than 28 oz.
Speaking on behalf of the NRCM, Matt Prindiville pointed out the many advantages of the bottle recyling program. Among other things, Prindiville pointed out that it has helped to create and support hundreds of small businesses all around the state and is currently responsible for more than 1,300 jobs, it relieves towns and taxpayers of the physical and financial burdens and costs of paying to collect and recycle these containers and serves as a great tool for local fundraising efforts, including for sports teams, boy scouts and other youth programs statewide. He also cited that the law has been successful in cleaning up our roadsides. The Maine Beverage Association had been lobbying in favor of passage of both bottle bills.
Bill Milliken, co-owner of Public House Market, 28 C ongress Street said today that he was not surprised that the attacks on the bottle bill lost. “It’s a piece of legislation that works. Besides, legislators are reluctant to repeal referendums that the public has voted on,” he said. Miliken was referring to the 1979 referendum in which 85% of Maine’s voters voted against an attempt to repeal the bottle bill.