Massachusetts Municipal Association & Metropolitan Area Planning Council Endorse the Better Bottle Bill

Media Contacts
Sarah Becker

Cities and towns support modernizing the Massachusetts Bottle Bill to include more beverage containers and a 10¢ deposit


BOSTON, Mass. — In a move that gives the campaign significant momentum, both the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) officially endorsed the Better Bottle Bill (H.3289/S.2149), a bill that would update the state’s nearly 40 year old container deposit law. Bottle Bills are the best recycling programs for reducing waste and litter from beverage containers, but a lot has changed since the original Bottle Bill was adopted in 1983. This bill, sponsored by Representative Marjorie Decker (Cambridge) and Senator Cynthia Creem (Newton), includes more types of beverage containers — like water bottles, sports drinks, iced teas, miniatures, and more —  many of which did not exist when the original law passed. It also increases the deposit from 5¢ to 10¢ as states like Michigan and Oregon have done already. 

“This important legislation is great for the environment and local taxpayers,” said MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith. “Passage now would bring immediate results, with higher re-use and recycling of plastic and glass containers, cleaner roads and parks, and substantial savings for city and town budgets – the bill is a winner on every level.”

“Modernizing the Bottle Bill to include more containers is a much-needed step to increase recycling and reduce litter,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of MAPC. “Removing more bottles from the municipal waste stream saves cities and towns money, while allowing customers to get a little money back. Many of the containers covered by this proposal didn’t even exist when I first lobbied for the Bottle Bill 40 years ago. It’s time to move this law into the 21st century.”

“The Better Bottle Bill brings an excellent recycling program into the 21st century” said Sarah Becker, zero waste associate with MASSPIRG. “It’s proven to reduce litter in our communities and lower recycling costs for our cities and towns, it just needs a little updating to deliver the best results. We’re excited to have both the MMA and MAPC’s support of the bill.” 

Both MMA and MAPC work closely with officials from cities and towns across Massachusetts to promote strong and healthy communities. Their dedication to the environment and public health, as well as the value they place in the fiscal sustainability of our communities, is reflected in their support of the Better Bottle Bill. Not only would the bill keep beverage containers out of polluting landfills and incinerators (where they can leach harmful chemicals that contaminate our groundwater and release toxic gasses and heavy metals into the air we breathe, respectively), but it also reduces municipal recycling costs. The existing Massachusetts law saves cities and towns on the order of $20 million in recycling costs each year, and expanding the Bottle Bill promises to save municipalities even more. 

These endorsements send a strong signal that cities and towns want this bill to move forward. The bill is now in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means for further consideration.

The MMA and MAPC join the list of 75 local and state organizations, as well as other civic leaders, businesses and legislators that have endorsed the Better Bottle Bill.