Photo Courtesy Ridgefield CT
A nickel goes a long way, and now with the new Connecticut Bottle Bill, it goes even further. Water bottles were added to the list of items that can be redeemed for 5 cents.
According to Dennis Schain, the Director of Communications at the Department of Environmental Protection, “when the bottle bill was passed and became law in 1980, nobody envisioned the way water bottles and bottled water was going to take off.”
Water bottles produced after October 1st can now be returned for 5 cents, along with your soda bottles and cans.
Reports from bottling industries estimate that 24 million dollars worth of nickels are unclaimed each year, and that 17.1 million dollars from water bottles will be unclaimed, too. According to Schain, this unclaimed money will now be returned to the State Treasury, which will help aid the state deficit.
“People had pushed for many years to have it extended to water bottles, and this year finally it went over the top and had enough support to do that”, Schain said.
One of those people, Jessie Stratton, who was both a legislator and a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, spent many years hoping for the change.
“As of a couple of years ago the state of Connecticut, I don’t have numbers for the last year, but over 500 million water bottles were sold in the state of Connecticut,” Stratton said.
“The bottle bill was designed to reduce litter-If you can get a nickel back on your container you’re not going to toss it away as readily,” Schain said..
Connecticut is one of the first states in the Northeast to include water bottles in its deposits. All state residents should understand that any water bottles purchased before October 1st will not be included in the 5 cents deposits as they do not have the proper labels.