Maine’s Bottle Bill, Protected!

Victory | March 19 2017

Plastic Pollution

The Maine Chapter worked with our Northeast Regional Manager to oppose LD683, an act that sought to rollback Maine's highly effective bottle bill.

Summary of LD683, An Act To Fund the Maine Solid Waste Diversion Grant Program and To Phase Out Certain Containers from the Bottle Redemption Laws:

"This bill phases out beverage containers 46 ounces and greater in capacity from the bottle redemption laws beginning December 1, 2017. It ends the liability of redemption centers and dealers to consumers for deposits January 1, 2018 and the liability of manufacturers and distributors February 1, 2019. The bill requires manufacturers of certain refillable containers and distributors of certain nonrefillable containers to pay a fee, beginning December 1, 2017 and ending December 1, 2022, at the rate of $0.005 per beverage container delivered for sale or distribution during any month. All of the revenue from the fee is deposited into the Maine Solid Waste Management Fund for use by the Maine Solid Waste Diversion Grant Program."

LD683 is a bad policy that would have undermined what is arguably Maine’s most effective program for encouraging proper recycling of beverage containers, our beverage container redemption program. Maine’s bottle bill went into effect in 1978, resulting in an estimated 90% of the bottles and cans sold in the state being recycled. This law helps keep Maine’s ocean, waves and beaches and all of our communities cleaner by incentivizing the recycling of beverage containers.

Additionally, many Maine municipalities rely on the bottle redemption program to help them manage their solid waste. Any rollbacks to this program, such as the one presented here in LD683, would have significant, negative consequences for Maine’s environment, residents and municipalities.

  • Public Hearing: Monday, March 13, 2017 10:00 AM, Cross Building, Room 216
  • Work Session: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 216

The Surfrider Foundation submitted testimony during hearing to oppose this bad bill, and we're happy to report that on March 24, 2017, the committee issued a unanimous ought not to pass report. The bill then was placed as dead in the legislative files pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3, which means that unless 2/3 of both the House and Senate vote to do so, the bill will not be considered further. This is great news! Thanks to everyone who helped with this effort!

You can also volunteer with our chapter and join/renew your Surfrider membership to BEST support our work in Maine.


Plastic Pollution

Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

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