With humans 100% dependent on the environment, Connecticut’s decision to update its bottle bill (“Conn.passes major ‘Bottle Bill’ expansion,” Westerly Sun, June 4) is good news for both the environment and people, even if we here in Rhode Island watch in envy. Records are made to be broken and loopholes exist to be closed, which Connecticut’s revised bottle bill does nicely. The law is getting a 21st-century facelift, as Connecticut’s updated bottle bill significantly expands its container coverage. Currently in 11 states, bottle bills decrease pollution, conserve climate-destroying petroleum and increase recycling rates, which keeps more of the Earth intact for future generations to enjoy. They promote justice by targeting the disposal and cleanup costs from taxpayers and government to producers and consumers, which puts a positive spin on the “pay to play’’ line.
First operational on Jan. 1, 1980, the bottle bill was last updated in 2009 when Connecticut (and New York) expanded their bottle bills to include water that has risen up the bottled-beverage ladder. The water beverage industry must credit Flint, Mich., for its 2014 poisoning of residents. The plastic water bottle ascendancy comes with a price that should alarm all Ocean State residents. June 8 was World Oceans Day, and bottle bills help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean, where projections indicate we may have more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
We must applaud Connecticut’s bottle bill, which expanded container coverage and doubled deposits from 5 to 10 cents while acknowledging that a 2024 dime provides less purchasing power than a 1980 nickel. Bottle bills are good for the oceans, which cover 75% of the Earth’s surface, provide food for billions of people, and, considering you can’t have a healthy Earth without healthy oceans, the Ocean State needs a bottle bill already. Thank you for contacting your state representative to encourage its passage.