AUGUSTA (WGME)—A bill in Augusta would eliminate bottle deposit fees on any bottle larger than 32 ounces, which includes 2-liter soda bottles and large wine bottles.
Those against the change say it would seriously hurt the redemption center business in Maine and lead to more littering.
“This would be a windfall for the beverage companies and a huge loss for Maine. Not only for the state, but municipalities would have to shoulder this burden,” said Sarah Lakeman, a project director at the National Resources Council of Maine. “Their costs would increase greatly. Redemption centers would lose big. Charities would lose big.”
The Maine Beverage Association said the change could save them $12 million a year in handling fees, but they claim that would help keep prices down and that some of the money would go to Maine cities and towns to promote all forms of recycling.
“The large containers are just a small portion of everything else we recycle,” said Melissa Walsh Innes, spokesperson for the Maine Beverage Association. “And by having some money to give out to municipalities, we can buy new rolling carts, new recycling trucks, education and promotion. All the things that we know are needed.”
The issue has come up in the legislature before and has been voted down each time.