DEEP: 1978 - Connecticut Bottle Bill Adopted

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Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

Connecticut Bottle Bill Adopted
(1978)

Background

The Connecticut bottle bill (P.A. 78-16) was originally adopted in 1978 as one component of an anti-liter campaign. The focus of the original legislation was to establish a process that would promote the return of used metal, glass and plastic carbonated beverage containers, thereby keeping them off state roadways. The primary tool established to achieve this goal was the $0.05 deposit on carbonated beverage containers. As part of the legislative initiative, the legislature also passed language establishing labeling standards, redemption centers, handling fees and the authority for the Department of Environmental Protection to develop regulations to implement these provisions.

It soon became obvious that the material collected through the bottle bill, glass, metal, and plastic, was clean and uncontaminated and could be recycled to make new products. In fact, one unanticipated result was the development of a successful industry which used the recycled polyethylene terepthalate (PETE = #1 bottles) to make new products.

Today Connecticut is one of eleven states with a bottle deposit system.

Recently, the Connecticut General Assembly expanded the scope of the Bottle Bill during the November 24, 2008 special session (P.A.-08-01), January 15, 2009 special session (P.A. 09-01) and the 2009 legislative session (P.A. 09-02).

These changes:

  • Expanded the scope of the bottle to require deposits on water (non-carbonated) beverage containers. Non-carbonated beverages means water, including flavored water, nutritionally enhanced water and any beverage that is identified through the use of letters, words or symbols on such beverage product label. Containers of juice and mineral waters were excluded from this requirement.
  • Requires funds representing unredeemed deposits to be paid to the state of Connecticut. Previously, the funds from unredeemed deposits remained with the beverage industry. The unredeemed deposits are expected to bring more than $40 million a year to the state.
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