The Impact of the Bottle Bill on Jobs in the Economy

This year, Massachusetts plummeted from 15th to 21st in CNBC’s annual ranking of the health of  each state’s economy, further demonstration that more must be done to stimulate job growth in  Massachusetts. One sector with untapped job growth is Massachusetts’ recycling industry, which  already employs close to 14,000 people, has a half-billion dollar payroll, and collects $3.2 billion in revenue every year. If the pending Bottle Bill Update is passed (H.890/S.1650), a net increase of 1500 jobs is expected in the state of Massachusetts.


MASSPIRG and the Massachusetts Sierra Club

The recycling industry has long been a job-creator in Massachusetts. By increasing the amount of recyclable material available in Massachusetts, the Updated Bottle Bill would lead to job growth in the state’s redemption centers and recycling corporations, and those companies that utilize recycled materials. The passage of the Updated Bottle Bill would preserve and add an estimated 1500 jobs to the recycling sector.

Creating Jobs

  • Recycling is an important component of Massachusetts’ economy. Massachusetts has two large recycling facilities: Verallia (the world’s second largest manufacturer of glass bottles) in Milford and Strategic Materials (sorts, separates, and prepares glass) in Franklin. Furthermore Owens-Illinois, America’s largest glass bottle manufacturer, which maintains a plant in a neighboring state, is highly dependent on material from the existing Massachusetts bottle bill.
  • Verallia and Strategic Materials have both expressed their desire to expand Massachusetts operations. Verallia currently employs approximately 250 people in Massachusetts, Strategic Materials employs 75. The net employment increase of these two companies alone would be 250.

Preserving Jobs

  •  Over the past twenty years, approximately half of the state’s 200 redemption centers have been forced to close their doors, and the remaining 100 centers are losing money.
  • As proposed in the pending Bottle Bill Update, to keep even with the consumer-price-index, the handling fee paid to state redemption centers should be increased from 2.25¢ to 3.25¢. This is paid for by the bottling industry, not the State, and is separate from the 5¢ deposit.
  • As low handling fees continue to bankrupt redemption centers, approximately 500 jobs are in jeopardy.

Additional Employment Increases in the Recycling Sector

  • According to the Container Recycling Institute, which has studied the net effects of updatingbottle bills in California, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Oregon, and Maine, Massachusetts can expect to add 500 jobs in addition to the ones mentioned above.

State and Municipal Savings

  • The Massachusetts DEP has estimated that with the passage of the Updated Bottle Bill, municipalities can save about $7 million annually in trash disposal and litter pick up costs.
  • The projected increase in government revenue from abandoned deposits is $18,750,000 for the state government.

Net Employment Gain and Revenue Projections

  • Using the data supplied above, the net employment gain under an expansion of the Bottle Bill would be 1500+.