As of the beginning of this month, Connecticut residents can now redeem plastic water bottles as part of the state’s bottle bill.
According to Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection, about 500 million water bottles are sold in the state each year.
An expansion of Connecticut’s existing bottle bill governing containers of beer, soda and other carbonated beverages, consumers will receive a rebate when the empty bottle is returned for recycling.
The new law doesn’t cover all plastic water containers. Beverages in containers that are 3 liters or larger, containers made from high density polyethylene (HDPE or plastic #2) and containers produced by manufacturers who bottle and sell less than 250,000 non-carbonated beverage containers a year are exempt from the deposit, according to the News Times.
State officials expect to collect about $40 million a year from unclaimed bottle deposits that formerly went back to beverage distributors, according to The Associated Press. However, some are dismayed at the initial increases in price for water bottles, as shoppers will be required to spend an extra $1.20 on a case of bottled water to cover the deposits.
Adding on water bottles and other non-carbonated beverages to the bill is the first major change in the state’s bottle bill that was established on Jan. 1, 1980.
North Carolina also began a new law on Oct. 1, banning all rigid plastic containers from landfills. This includes any bottles with a neck smaller than the container itself.
North Carolina is also building the nation’s largest facility to recycle PET bottles, which will able to process 280 million pounds of material per year. One of the primary partners in this venture is carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries Group, LLC, which can turn recycled PET into polyester for use in carpeting.