Beverage Makers Have Dodged California’s Recycling Crisis. That May Soon Change

Monday, January 13, 2020

Publication: Los Angeles Times

Across California, can and bottle redemption centers have closed. Consumers struggle to find places to get nickels and dimes for their containers. Supermarkets are obliged to redeem cans and bottles not deposited elsewhere. Trash companies take the remainder.

Standing apart in California’s recycling crisis are drink manufacturers. They have never been required to find a permanent repository or reuse for the billions of bottles and cans they produce. California’s 3-decade-old “Bottle Bill” — the law that seeks to boost recycling by putting a 5- or 10-cent bounty on most cans and bottles — has left that work to everyone else.

That soon could change. This year, some in the state Legislature want to overhaul the Bottle Bill. 

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“The state can no longer put off solving this ever-growing crisis,” Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said last week in introducing a bill he said will strive to prop up struggling recyclers and demand greater reuse of plastic by the beverage industry.

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