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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Ain't keeping my ire bottled up

Boo, hiss:

A central Indiana company that makes glass bottles and jars is urging state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring refundable deposits on beverages sold in recyclable bottles and cans.

Verallia North America senior vice president Stephen Segebarth told a joint meeting of the Indiana House and Senate environmental affairs committees on Monday that the bill would boost job creation by providing discarded glass or metal for companies that turn the waste into new products.

A business special interest is lobbying the General Assembly for legislation that would benefit it. Imagine that.

But what's in it for me? Not much that I can see. Having to pay a 5- or 10-cent refundable deposit on each bottle is supposed to encourage me to get enthusiastic about recycling instead of contributing to off-to-the-landfill waste or thoughtlessly adding to roadside litter. Public policy will thus force me to do the right thing, even if I'm not so inclined. I'm pretty resentful of such pompous authoritariansism, and I doubt it would add much to the large-scale recycling programs already in place. So it seems like a big pain in the ass with not much gain in return, unless you're a wino or starving college student who considers  this a better way than donating blood to make a quick buck or two.

Only 10 states have bottle-deposit laws, and since 1986 Hawaii is the only one to have enacted one. One state has rescinded its law and others are considering it. Not exactly an idea whose time has come.