Action Alert -- Coke, Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch waging war on Deposit Law
Act Now: Weneed your support to defned the nation’s only local deposit ordinance frombeing repealed. The Container RecyclingInstitute (CRI) is working with Columbians Against Throwaways (CAT) to defeatProp 1, the repeal initiative in April 2nd election in Columbia,Missouri.
CAT and CRI are waging a newspaper and radio advertisingcampaign to defend the law, as well as organizing media events and communityoutreach. Mayor Hindman and almost allof the city council members are opposed to repeal of deposits.
We’re being outspent at least 8 to 1 in the most intenselocal issue on the April ballot.
Problem: Big guns from the beverage and grocery industres are trained on Columbia, Missouri, in an effort to repeal the localbottle and can deposit ordinance, adopted in 1977. In just 5 days, the voters must decide whether to approve Prop 1,the repeal initiative.
The April 2nd vote on Prop 1 has national implications. Repealing this localordinance would add fuel to attacks on state laws in Iowa, New York andMassachusetts. A massive propagandacampaign claims that because Columbia has a ‘Blue Bag’ curbside recyclingcampaign, the 5-cent deposit is no longer needed.
Almost all of the funding for the repeal effort comes frommajor corporations and trade associations. The Missouri Soft Drink Association (Coke and Pepsi) and Anheuser-Buschare the leading beverage industry contributors. Krogers, Hy Vee (Iowa), Schnucks and Nowells are the leading grocerystore contributors. A couple of oil companies that operate convenience storesat their gasoline stations are contributing as well.
The Container Recycling Institute believes that thesecorporate backers of Prop 1 have already spent over $100,000, only a fractionof which has been publicly reported so far. Television, newspaper and radio ads claim that the depositordinance “robs” the Blue Bag program of revenue.
In the last couple days, registered voters have received twomailings advocating repeal of deposits from the “Yes on Recycling, Yes on Prop1” Committee, formerly the repeal committee. It’s classic double-speak, the Prop 1 supporters trying to confusevoters, saying for example – “if you want to be green vote blue.”
Employing a strategy developed by the National Soft DrinkAssociation and tested in New York State a couple years ago, Prop 1 supportersclaim that the Blue Bag program will reap $200,000 to $300,000 in additionalrevenue in this relatively small, university community. In addition, they claim deposits costtaxpayers, consumers and business $1.6 million a year or $2 million a year,figures that change almost daily.
Among the many false and misleading claims, Prop 1 supportersclaim that the Blue Bag is 4 times cheaper than deposits. Other days, they say deposits cost 4 timesmore than the Blue Bag. They can’t keeptheir facts straight from day to day.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported 2 days ago that NSDApaid for polling by a Pennsylvania firm. Go to their website: www.columbiatribune.com