Vermont House Advances Bottle Bill Upgrade

Reforms state’s most successful recycling program

Pile of Plastic Bottles

April 15, 2021 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Vermont’s House of Representatives advanced an important piece of legislation that updates the state’s bottle bill. Under the current bottle bill system, Vermonters pay an extra nickel for every bottle or can of beer or soda purchased and get the money back when they return the empty container. The program produces a steady stream of clean, recyclable material. The final vote in the House is expected tomorrow. 

The legislation expands the bottle bill program to include wine and non-carbonated drinks like water, iced tea, sports drinks, and juice. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Vermont Conservation Voters, and Vermont Public Interest Research Group released the following statement in response.

“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.”

“The environmental benefits of updating the Bottle Bill are clear – with more recycling, less air and water pollution, less litter, and new green jobs. We thank the House for advancing this important legislation, and look forward to this bill heading to the Senate so we can continue the state’s work to reduce plastic and other pollution,” said Lauren Hierl, Executive Director of Vermont Conservation Voters.

“More than four out of five Vermonters support updating the Bottle Bill, and the nation’s biggest recyclers of glass, aluminum, and PET plastic support it as well,” said Paul Burns, Executive Director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “VPIRG applauds the House for giving initial approval to this legislation. Legislators deserve credit for rejecting the dishonest tactics of the beverage giants and Vermont’s waste industry in advancing this bill.” 

Experts are available for further comment.