Bottle Bills

Good morning all! Putting the finishing touches on the first draft of my capstone…it’s really exciting! I have no idea what to expect as far as editing is concerned, but I’ll try to keep updating.

Something I’m mentioning in my paper is the concept of incentives a means to increase recycling effort. Everybody knows that if there’s something in it for you, you’re more likely to participate in an activity, right? I’m just going off of observable human nature here; obviously there are those that don’t need incentives to do good deeds all of the time. Anyway, in the early 1970s, our nation was facing a waste crisis: too much garbage, nowhere to put it. Enter recycling! Along with general recycling (which didn’t pick up until the late 8os), some states implemented “Bottle Bills.” Basically, a deposit was put on plastic bottles, to increase incentives to recycle them (because coincidentally, the plastic soda bottle was invented around the same time…). Oregon became the first state to create legislation and 10 states followed suit. These 10 states are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Vermont. Β Unfortunately, there are still only 11 states with active legislation regarding bottle deposits today!

The awesome illustration below (courtesy of Craig Winslow!) depicts the situation as it stands today: blue states represent those with active legislation, yellow states represent those with pending legislation and green states represent a combo of both (updating existing laws). Red states, unfortunately are the ones with no state-implemented laws.

If anyone knows more about the red-states, feel free to share it on here!

-Ryan E.


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