“Updating Vermont’s bottle bill is a win-win for our communities and our environment,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President & Director of CLF Vermont. “These changes to the bottle bill will result in less climate pollution and waste in our landfills, more green jobs, and millions of dollars for the state’s clean water fund. Passing this legislation into law is just plain common sense.”
Is the systemic idea of Zero Waste actually possible? Yes! But to do so, we need to stop looking at Zero Waste as just a lifestyle and start looking at it as a strategic concept for managing our waste – and tackling the trash crisis.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing concerns caused many New England states with bottle return programs to temporarily stop enforcing collection requirements at grocery stores, supermarkets, and liquor shops. Connecticut was among the states pressing pause on bottle bill enforcement. But as of May 20, the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has reinstated bottle collection requirements at these retail sites.
“Public health must always be the primary concern,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of the Zero Waste Project at CLF. “However, the scientific community has made it clear that the risk of transmitting the virus by touching a bag or bottle is almost nonexistent. Allowing reusable bags and resuming bottle deposits will keep tons of plastic out of landfills or incinerators and stop it from further polluting our land and air.”