Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001
Of all places, Hawai'i deserves a bottle bill
In a column on Christmas Day, Jan TenBruggencate, The Advertisers longtime environment writer, described with a touch of whimsy how the Canadian province of Nova Scotia had successfully dealt with what was turning into a big trash problem.
Taking drastic steps, they put into place mandatory measures reduction, recycling, reuse, composting. No doubt independent-minded businesses and individuals bridled at the requirements until they saw the results: a 50 percent trash reduction. It meant they didnt have to open new landfills, which no one wanted in his or her back yard.
Among the least expected benefits was the discovery that there are 10 times more jobs in recycling than there are in disposal.
One of Nova Scotias requirements is a bottle bill. "You pay 6 cents a bottle when you buy a bottle of soft drink or water," writes TenBruggencate, "and get 3 cents back when you return a bottle the remaining cash goes to vendors and recycling programs. They now claim an 80 percent return rate."
Reacting to TenBruggencates column, letter writer Randy Ching, from the Sierra Club on Oahu, wrote of a similar bottle bill nearer home Oregon, where customers pay a nickel for any beverage container, plastic or glass. It works there, too.
Again this year, Hawaiis Legislature will consider a bottle bill. Are Nova Scotia and Oregon more environmentally aware and cleaner than Hawaii? We cant think of a place on the Earth that has more reason for a bottle bill.
Lets pass it this year.
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