Hawaii Legislature Approves Bottle Bill

Washington, DC - Legislators in the Hawaii House and Senate easily approved 'bottle bill' legislation designed to reduce litter and increase recycling by establishing a refundable 5-cent deposit on a wide range of beverage containers. If signed by the governor, Hawaii will become the first state to adopt a new beverage deposit law in 16 years, according to the Container Recycling Institute.

"Hawaii approved the bottle bill primarily because legislators saw bottle and can litter as a threat to tourism, the state's leading industry. A massive lobbying and advertising campaign by the soft drink, beer and grocery industries designed to defeat the legislation backfired, because few legislators believed that the industry proposal to establish curbside recycling would solve the problem," CRI Executive Director Pat Franklin said.

"Representative Hermina Morita crafted a unique new proposal, combining elements of traditional bottle bills with features designed to hold down recycling costs. Beverage containers won't be sorted by brand, which dramatically reduces labor costs. In addition, the legislation creates a system of redemption centers where containers can be returned. Grocery stores won't have to take the bottles and cans back as long as a certified redemption center is located within one mile of the retailer," Franklin said.

States with deposit laws are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont.