Modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverages such as water, juice, and tea will help reduce trash, waste, and pollution in Iowa's rivers, lakes, streams, fields, ditches, and environment. Please support modernizing Iowa's overwhelmingly popular bottle bill. Support a Better Bottle Bill for Iowa by contacting your legislator today and asking them to support modernizing Iowa's Bottle bill during this 2013 Legislative Session.
The Iowa Legislature passed the “Iowa Bottle Bill” in
bi-partisan fashion and former Governor Robert D. Ray signed the bill into
legislation in 1979. In over three
decades since its adoption and despite numerous changes in consumer buying habits during the past quarter century (including the widespread adoption and popularity of bottled water), Iowa's Bottle Bill has not been modernized to meet the
ever-changing beverage container marketplace.
does the “Better Bottle Bill” modernize existing Iowa law?
The “Better Bottle Bill” will allow popular, non-carbonated beverages
such as water, tea, and sports drink containers - items not customarily purchased in beverage containers in the 1970s - to be recycled at the extraordinarily high rates (86% of all Bottle Bill bottles are recycled compared to their non-Bottle Bill counterparts at 26%) enjoyed by all other items currently covered under Iowa's popular Bottle Bill. In fact, modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill to reflect the realities of today's marketplace will result in over
500 million additional containers recycled - ANNUALLY - under the successful program, a terrific outcome that will naturally remove unwanted bottles and cans from Iowa’s ditches,
waterways, fields, and landfills. Further, redemption locations, including retailers and
local redemption centers, will earn better compensation for their work, without
any additional cost to consumers. The necessary infrastructure and systems are already in place to easily facilitate modernization and Iowan's on both sides of the aisle are ready to support modernization in overwhelming numbers - now is the time to modernize Iowa's most successful recycling program.
Do other states enjoy the benefits of a modernized bottle bill?
Yes. From New York to Hawaii, numerous states enjoy the benefits of a modernized bottle bill. Notably, beginning in October 2005 and ending October 2010, Connecticut, New York, and Oregon added containers for water to the list of beverage containers covered under their respective bottle bills. In addition to the foregoing, Hawaii, Maine, and California also encourage recycling by providing for redemption of non-carbonated beverages through their respective bottles bills.
Bottle Bill” been successful?
Iowa's widely-recognized and overwhelmingly popular Bottle Bill is nothing short of a smashing success. Indeed, as a direct
result of Iowa's Bottle Bill, Iowa is recognized as a worldwide leader in
recycling. Moreover, Iowa's Bottle Bill continues to create and support hundreds of good jobs and nearly ninety percent
of plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans are diverted from our beautiful
lands and costly landfills and make it back to our redemption centers where their
value is salvaged and materials are reused.
Iowa’s Bottle Bill has made major
strides toward keeping Iowa
beautiful, preserving our bountiful natural resources, and guaranteeing
generations of Iowans to come the ability to enjoy our parks and
trails without the blight of unwanted and unnecessary litter.
many Iowa jobs are tied directly to the “Iowa Bottle Bill”?
Iowa's current Bottle Bill supports over 870 Iowa jobs. According to a detailed study performed by the well-respected Iowa State University economist, Dr. Dermot Hayes, a modernized Bottle Bill will not only protect the existing 870 Iowa jobs and salvage hundreds of millions of new containers, but it will create over 330 new Iowa jobs if the legislation is
passed this session.
“Better Bottle Bill” popular in Iowa?
Yes. According to 2013 polling conducted by Selzer and
Company for the Des Moines Register,
64 percent of Iowans support modernizing Iowa’s
Bottle Bill. The 2013 poll clearly
demonstrates a “Better Bottle Bill” enjoys overwhelming support across Iowa and that it is a non-partisan issue as majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike support modernizing
Iowa’s Bottle Bill. A broad group of
supporters also support modernizing the Bottle Bill. Join the movement today.
than consumers, distributors, retailers and redemption centers, who else
benefits from this law?
Countless civic and community organizations, charities,
schools and churches benefit from and depend upon this popular law to make differences in the lives of those
around us. Many generous Iowans
consistently donate their cans and bottles to charities and groups who are
investing those dollars right back into our communities. Modernizing Iowa's Bottle Bill will further support such efforts.
happens to all the bottles, cans, and beverage containers that are
Beverage containers covered by Iowa's Bottle Bill are recycled
and returned to the market at rates nearly triple their non-bottle bill counterparts. As such, their value is preserved and the valuable materials are
reused in many everyday applications. In
fact, as a result of Iowa's Bottle Bill, Iowa is recognized is a leading exporter of this important, high-quality recyclable material, creating yet
another class of valuable jobs. Perhaps most
importantly, however, these valuable containers, which take hundreds of years
to breakdown, are kept out of our environment and landfills and are reused
over and over again.
do“Better Bottle Bill” critics say in an effort to dissuade
lawmakers and the public from supporting the movement?
Opponents argue that recycling bottles - a task largely
handled by automated machines - requires cleaning redemption areas and that our existing container bottle
system is a relic of the past that should be abandoned in favor of
single-stream, curbside recycling programs where Iowans are asked to drop a mixture of
various materials into one bin where everything is commingled. Research
demonstrates, however, that single-stream, curbside recycling and beverage redemption programs,
such as Iowa’s
Bottle Bill, actually compliment each other and work well together. And while single-stream, curbside recycling and Iowa's Bottle Bill work together, it cannot be overlooked that many Iowans rely upon the Bottle Bill as they do not reside in areas where single-stream recycling programs exist. Consequently, for much of Iowa, the Bottle Bill provides one of the only, if not the only, recycling programs available.
Is Iowa’s Bottle Bill a tax on consumers?
No. Consumers are fully reimbursed their entire $.05 deposit upon
redemption. In short, Iowa’s Bottle Bill is designed to incentivize
recycling through redemption and to eliminate all costs to consumers.
Comparatively, single-stream recycling programs rely upon local tax subsidies
Will expansion of the Bottle Bill create public health
No. In the 35 years the Bottle Bill has been in
force, not a single case has been documented of a patron becoming sick as the
result of exposure to redeemed containers in retail stores. More
importantly, the addition of automated redemption machines in outdoor areas
connected to stores makes the process more efficient for both consumers and
Are retail locations such as grocery and convenience stores forced
to accept and redeem empty bottles and cans?
No. Existing Iowa law permits grocery
and convenience stores to designate a local redemption center, often locally owned
small businesses, as the location where consumers may redeem empty bottles and cans.