The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The state known as the “Garden State” needs a Bottle Bill

Ella Patel
Recyclables eligible for a return reward contain information regarding the Bottle Bill states

How can New Jersey call itself the “Garden State” when it doesn’t have something as simple as a Bottle Bill? The Bottle Bill is a law that some states have to reward citizens for returning empty recyclable cans and bottles to a redemption center. A redemption center is a specific location where people can redeem a reward for returning certain recyclables. States possessing this bill pay small amounts of money to depositors for returning these recyclable items.

Though this is a helpful implementation to promote recycling, only ten states use this system. The states that utilize the Bottle Bill are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. These states offer a five to ten cent reward for the average recyclable that is deposited. Though this recompensation may seem puny, it is effective in increasing recycling rates within these states, especially when depositors would originally have received nothing for their efforts.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, “states with bottle bills have a beverage container recycling rate of around 60%, while non-deposit states only reach about 24%.”

New Jersey should offer some sort of incentive to promote recycling. Though New Jersey is the Garden State, the state does not have the highest recycling rate. New Jersey is ranked ninth on the list of states with the highest recycling rates, only having a 46% recycling rate. Though ninth is a good position, New Jersey should strive for more if we are to think of ourselves in such high regards when it comes to the environment. Maine, who is first on this list, has a rate of 72%. Nearly all of the states that precede New Jersey on this list have a Bottle Bill. This is no coincidence and further proof that our efforts in reducing pollution could be improved with a Bottle Bill.

About 75% of the students in Bernards High School who have participated in a survey responded that they are not educated on what a Bottle Bill is. Additional responses indicate that if New Jersey did have a bill, many students would participate in redeeming recyclable items. All of the responders recorded that having a reward for recycling would motivate them to recycle more, especially if there was a convenient way to exchange their items.

Hannah Vinegra 26’ said, “[New Jersey has] passed legislation such as the ban of the bags to decrease pollution from plastic single use bags; but I think as a whole we still need to do more because it’s not enough.”

Though New Jersey has made strides to become more environmentally friendly, this bill could significantly advance the progression towards a more green state. New Jersey, along with nine other states, have prohibited the use of plastic bags. Our state should take it one step further by enforcing a Bottle Bill. Many states that have limited the use of plastic bags also have a Bottle Bill so it is not an unreasonable or unachievable task.

New Jersey not having a Bottle Bill should not, however, be an excuse for not recycling. Citizens should assist in decreasing pollution rates regardless of whether or not there is a reward. The end goal and reward should be making Earth a cleaner and better planet.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Crimson Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *