Despite being one of the oldest and most successful recycling programs in the state, Vermont's Bottle Bill hasn’t been modernized in over fifty years
VERMONT – The Vermont Senate today failed to override Governor Phil Scot’s veto of a bill that would have significantly expanded the state’s most successful recycling program – the Bottle Bill.
Last year, the House and Senate voted in favor of the bill, which would drastically expand and modernize Vermont’s Bottle Bill. However, Gov. Scott vetoed the legislation shortly before the legislature adjourned for the summer. The legislature reconvened on January 3 with the House moving quickly to override the veto. Unfortunately, the Senate ultimately failed to garner the necessary votes.
“Governor Scott’s veto of this commonsense and necessary legislation shows that he simply isn’t committed to increasing recycling or helping the state address plastic pollution,” said Peter Blair, Policy and Advocacy Director at Just Zero.
Through the Bottle Bill program, Vermonters pay an extra nickel for every bottle or can of beer or soda purchased. They get that money back when they return the empty container. The modernized bill would have extended the current five-cent deposit to include non-carbonated beverages like water, juice, hard seltzer, iced tea, coffee, and sports drinks. The bill also would have added a 15-cent deposit on wine bottles. Additionally, the bill would have also increased the number of redemption sites, making it easier and more convenient for Vermonters to bring back their empty containers for recycling.
“Despite Vermont’s Bottle Bill being one of the oldest and most successful recycling programs in the state, it hasn’t been meaningfully expanded or modernized in over fifty years," said Blair. "Governor Scott’s veto and the Senate’s failure to override it is a missed opportunity that will harm Vermont’s environment and climate. Vermonters deserve better.”
Policy and Advocacy Director at Just Zero