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[GreenYes] URGENT-Sign-on Letter re Jeffords Beverage Producer Responsibility Bill
Is your ORGANIZATION concerned about waste reduction,
recycling and the wasting (mostly at public expense) of
114 billion beverage containers in the U.S. every year?

Senator Jeffords (I-VT) has introduced a new kind of
national bottle bill that puts responsibility for recycling on
beverage brand owners and consumers -- a model for
other product and packaging recycling as well.

The recycling community needs to speak up and loudly.
We are looking for local, state, regional and national
organizations, businesses and municipalities to JOIN A
SIGN-ON LETTER to U.S. Senators asking them to
co-sponsor the National Beverage Producer Responsibility
Act, S. 2220, and attend hearings on the bill in the
Environment and Public Works Committee on July 11th.

In addition to GrassRoots Recycling Network, national
organizations endorsing the bill include Sierra Club, Natural
Resources Defense Council, Isaac Walton League,
Greenpeace USA, U.S. Public Interest Research Group,
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Friends of the Earth,
Scenic America, and Container Recycling Institute.

A summary of the bill is attached below the sign-on letter.
The bill text, talking points and other information on
INDIVIDUAL action is posted at
www.grrn.org/beverage/jeffords/.

PLEASE RESPOND BY COB SUNDAY, JUNE 30

(by return email, or call 706-613-7121).



Thanks,

/Bill Sheehan
GrassRoots Recycling Network

*********************************

Sign-on letter to Senators on Environment and Public
Works Committee

Dear Senator _____:

We are writing to urge you to co-sponsor the National
Beverage Producer Responsibility Act, S. 2220, and attend
the Environment and Public Works Committee hearings on
July 11th.  This legislation will increase recycling, reduce
litter, save energy, create jobs, decrease the generation of
waste, and supply raw material to manufacturers.

For over thirty years, bottle bills have been extremely
effective at achieving economic, social and environmental
goals.  The 10 states with deposit laws recycle more
containers than all the other 40 states together.  But bottle
bills have also been unpopular with the regulated parties.
The National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act
presents an opportunity to provide a new approach that
addresses concerns of the industry stakeholders without
compromising the public interest.

A recent study shows that over 114 billion beverage
containers are wasted each year.  The aluminum can
recycling rate for 2001 dipped below 50% for the first time
in 16 years.  Plastic bottle waste has doubled in the past
decade while recovery rates in non-deposit states are on
the order of 10%.

The National Beverage Producer Responsibility Act sets a
performance standard which industry must meet and
allows industry the freedom to design the most efficient
deposit-return program to reach the standard.  By
providing beverage companies the flexibility to structure
and operate their own container recovery programs, this
legislation simply extends the beverage company's 'supply
chain' to include the management of empty containers
after consumption.  This approach is appealing because it
reduces the administrative burden on government and
takes full advantage of the business skills of industry.

Recycling is an easy way to lessen our dependence on
foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
conserve natural resources.  An 80 percent recovery rate
would save the equivalent of 640 million barrels of oil over
a ten-year period, or enough energy to meet the needs of
5 million households a year.

Join with Senator Jeffords in holding the beverage industry
responsible for increasing bottle and can recycling by
challenging the industry to create cost-effective solutions.

Please co-sponsor S. 2220 and attend the Environment
and Public Works Committee hearings on July 11th.

Sincerely,

Name, Title
Organization
Telephone

Email

********************************

SUMMARY of S. 2002

For over thirty years, bottle bills have been
extremely effective at achieving economic,
social and environmental goals.  But they have
also been unpopular with the regulated parties.
The National Beverage Producer Responsibility
Act of 2002 presents an opportunity to provide a
new approach that addresses concerns of the
industry stakeholders without compromising the
public interest.

The traditional bottle bill legislation
prescribes specific roles and responsibilities
for retailers and distributors.  Some believe
that these prescriptive provisions constrain the
industry from innovating more cost-effective
solutions to the beverage container management
challenge.

The National Beverage Producer Responsibility
Act takes a different approach by setting a
performance standard which industry must meet
and allowing industry the freedom to design the
most efficient deposit-return program to reach
the standard.  By providing beverage companies
the flexibility to structure and operate their
own container recovery programs, this
legislation simply extends the beverage
company's "supply chain" to include the
management of empty containers after
consumption.  This approach is appealing because
it reduces the administrative burden on
government and takes full advantage of the
business skills of industry.

The National Beverage Producer Responsibility
Act confines 'prescriptive language' to one
provision:  the requirement that the container
management system use an economic instrument
(refundable deposits) to encourage recycling.
Only refundable deposits have been capable of
achieving the desired level of beverage
container recycling.  In fact, the bottling
industry itself used deposits very effectively
for decades to encourage the return of beverage
bottles.

The National Beverage Producer Responsibility
Act complements state bottle laws.  Brand owners
who achieve a recovery rate of at least 80
percent under a current state beverage container
program are exempt from this legislation in
those states.  Since most of the bottle bill
states already have redemption rates over 80
percent, brand owners in those states would be
unaffected by this legislation if their
redemption rates cover the beverages included in
this bill.

Specifically, the National Beverage Producer
Responsibility Act of 2002 would:
  establish a measurable performance standard
of 80% recovery of used, empty beverage
containers for recycling or reuse;
  establish a minimum refundable deposit, of 10
cents, as the economic incentive for consumers
to recycle;
  require beverage brand-owners, as a condition
of sale of their product, to develop and submit
to the Environmental Protection Agency a
Beverage Container Management Plan, within 180
days of the law's implementation;
  establish consequences for failing to submit,
implement and operate the approved Program and
achieve the legislated Performance Standard; and
  establish provisions for evaluation and
monitoring of the industry 's performance.

************************
Bill Sheehan, Ph.D.
Executive Director
GrassRoots Recycling Network
P.O. Box 6707
Athens, GA 30604-6707
Tel:  706-613-7121
Fax:  706-613-7123
Email:  zerowaste@grrn.org
Web:  www.grrn.org
************************




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