California’s increased beverage container refunds bring
An increase in the refund available for empty beverage
containers prompted Californians to achieve a significant jump in recycling
in the first half of 2007. In the process, they also created a substantial
environmental benefit, according to a new report just released by the
state Department of Conservation.
The six-month Report of Beverage Container Recycling & Significant
Carbon Reductions shows California’s beverage container recycling rate
rose six percentage points, to 71 percent, from January-June 2007. By
recycling billions of aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles during
that time, Californians decreased greenhouse gas emissions equivalent
to removing 230,000 passenger cars from the roadways for a year.
The DOC compared the recycling rate of the first six
months of 2006 and the first six months of 2007 to determine the beverage
container recycling rate change.
Each year, the report says, California consumes 657
million barrels of oil and emits 492 million metric tons of greenhouse
gas. By recycling nearly 7 billion beverage containers from January-June,
Californians saved the equivalent of 2.5 million barrels of oil, and
reduced emissions equivalent to 293,000 metric tons of carbon related
to greenhouse gas.
The increase in California Refund Value took effect
on January 1, 2007, and raised the refund consumers receive for each
beverage container from $.04 to a $.05 for containers less than 24 ounces
and $.08 to $.10 for containers 24 ounces and larger. Assembly Bill 3056
also provided funding for a statewide marketing campaign to educate Californians
about CRV and to promote recycling awareness and participation.
Most beverages packaged in glass, aluminum and plastic,
such as soft drinks, water, beer, sports drinks, juices and coffee and
tea drinks, are included in the CRV program. Notable exceptions are milk,
wine and distilled spirits.
All aspects of the state’s beverage container recycling
program are paid for with unclaimed refunds of CRV beverage containers,
at no cost to the state’s general fund.