Connecticut Adds Plastic Bottles to Deposit Law

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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.

Photo: Flickr/darrylh

Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours. Photo: Flickr/darrylh

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.

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  1. I always thought is was rediculous that bottle bills never included water/juice bottles. Plastic is plastic. So many people don’t recycle unless they are forced to. I think people can find an extra $1.20 for a case of water. If they return the bottles it does not cost them a dime. This will keep tons(literally) of plastic out of land fills and off the street. My kids play sports and so many kids/parents leave their empty water bottles laying around. You would never see people leaving empty soda cans laying around. I hope more states follow Connecticut’s lead.

  2. No Plastic is not Plastic. Soda, Juice and Water all have different qualities in the bottle, Juice bottles might have and additive to the bottle it keep the juice from spoiling. Soda (pop) bottle might have an additive to keep the carbon in so, your pop will stay fizzy. In fact, water bottles have the purest form of plastic usually no additives to the plastic it does not make sense not to have water bottles recycled. We need to recycle more also, with new technologies, the bottles are becoming lighter in weight compared to just a few years ago. It is a shame it took so long.

  3. Plastic is bad for the environment, no question about it. That is why I don’t get why so many people are throwing away not only plastic, but money they could be getting out of refunds for returning the plastic to be recycled. If they are complaining about how it costs too much to but a whole soccer team Gatorade, then why don’t they just recycle the bottles and use that refund money to buy the new bottles? This whole recycling thing is great, but nothing like this works very well if it isn’t publicized.

  4. This is just another money grab in the state of CT and their betting you don’t return the bottles for there own profit. We used to put all our plastic including bottles in the blue bin recycle bins (a tax we pay already), now there is no incentive. Who has time to lug 100’s of bottles and stand in a filthy recycle center lacking machines to handle the already overload, flies buzing around,and god knows what else? This is a big money maker for the state and they don’t care about green, it’s money and landfills are desinged to handle it anyway— period. It’s a joke.

    All of my plastic bottles are now being tossed in the dumpster and many others are taking the same attitude. I don’t give a damn anymore.

  5. I agree in part wirh Marlae. The State is counting of the incovenience, and sometimes laziness, of the consumer. The unredeemed recyclables will bring the State an enourmous amout of revenue and I believe the “recycling centers” are not mandated to be me adequate in size so to deter the consumer from redeeming.

    Additionally, the fact that not every brand is redeemable in every recycling center is intended to be an inconvenience to the consumer so to assure more items go unredeemed. (For example, one must go to Shoprite to redeem their brand – you can’t redeem it at A& P) How many stops would a consumer have to make in order to redeem everything??? How much gass would be wasted to redeem six cans at shoprite if you are redeeming everything else at A & P??

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