For nearly fifteen years, Massachusetts legislators and supporters have been trying to pass an expanded bottle bill that would treat all beverage containers similarly, ending the nonsensical distinction between carbonated beverages (subject to the deposit) and non-carbonated beverages (not subject to the deposit).
Despite polls showing 77% support from the public and a majority of legislators, as well as resolutions passed by Boards of Selectmen and City Councils in 208 of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns (though not Needham’s Board, which chose not to vote on the issue last year because only two Selectmen were prepared to vote in support), each legislative year ends with the bill – pun intended – bottled up in committee and either expiring or being sent back for more “study”.
Legislative leadership in both the House and Senate refuse to let the bill come up for a floor vote. This year’s session was no exception, though the drama was more creative. MassINC, the non-partisan think tank that publishes Commonwealth Magazine, summarized this year’s maneuvers concisely in a recent article.
Needham’s legislators – Denise Garlick (House), Richard Ross and Michael Rush (Senate), were sponsors of the Expanded Bottle Bill this year.
Several organizations have good information about the expanded bottle bil: