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Activists again pursue changes to Massachusetts' 40-year-old bottle law

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.
Steven Depolo
Plastic water bottles are not subject to the beverage-container deposit law in Massachusetts, which requires a five-cent deposit on carbonated and alcoholic beverages.

Despite collecting thousands of signatures, there will be no ballot question

Environmental and consumer advocates are making another push to pass legislation that would update Massachusetts’ decades-old beverage- container deposit law.

After canvassing door-to-door across the state this summer, staffers with MassPIRG this week delivered to the State House more than 6,000 signatures they collected in support of what has become known as the “better bottle bill.”

The legislation would increase the deposit from the current five cents to 10 cents and add more types of beverage containers to the program including plastic water bottles, vitamin drinks, and other products that did not exist when the initial law was enacted in the 1980s.

Despite collecting thousands of signatures, supporters do not plan to try to put a question on the next state ballot.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MassPIRG.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.