Why We Need to Jack the Bottle Deposit
Figure hasn't nearly increased with inflation
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2013 10:57 AM CDT
A Michigan deposit is shown printed on a beverage in Detroit, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(Newser) – The goals of health advocates and environmental activists don't always mesh, notes Daniel Engber at Slate: For instance, while health experts would tell you to go for smaller soda bottles to prevent downing too much, eco-warriors would prefer you to buy bigger bottles and save packaging. But Engber has a plan that could help save the planet while cutting our consumption of unhealthy drinks. Let's finally boost the bottle deposit—that extra five cents you pay for a drink and can have refunded upon recycling.

When the bottle deposit began in Oregon in 1971, it was five cents; in most states that offer it, it's still five cents. But "if state governments had thought to peg their bottle bills to inflation, we’d now be paying almost 30 cents on the cost of every single can, or an extra $1.80 for a six-pack," Engber observes. While it would encourage recycling and discourage consumption, it would also bring in more money for states, not to mention potentially increasing returns for those who "scavenge" empties. Click through for Engber's full column.

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
Aug 31, 2013 6:23 PM CDT
My fondest memories of childhood is saving those bottles and turning them in for 5 cents each. That was a lot of money in 1979. You could still buy a candy bar for 25 cents. Necco wafer was my favorite at home. At school, I used the money to buy lunch as my parents never gave me any money for that and were way too proud to file for the free lunch program. Finding bottles along side the road was great. You walked into Humpty Dumpty and turned them in for a hand full of cash. You then walked down the street to the joke shop that so many towns had at the time. Well kind of like Spencer's today but more jokes, less clothes and hats. I restocked my cigarette loads, flash powder, itch powder, electrical shock devices, and stink juice. Then we waited to visit the uncle or aunt and got them distracted as we filled up their cigarettes with either stink or exploding loads. Then we waited for their chain smoking habits to kick in and the aunt would soon say, "Oh that's horrible" and then the uncle's cigarette exploded on his face as he yelled, "WTF?" Thus ended another great day in the pop bottle age.
Aug 27, 2013 11:02 PM CDT
If consumption decreases we will see less sales in these company's products, Less jobs within these company's and less profits being made for these company's. Good luck getting around their lobbyist. Its an nice idea for an ideal world but it does not fit in with this shitty consumerist society. Waste = Profit
Aug 27, 2013 8:56 PM CDT
It is and has been mystical, magical government bullshittt. Gummint creation of value where none exists is one of the DEFINITIONS of inflation. But it makes you feeeeeel good. ...yeccchhhh....