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[GreenYes] Fw: Editorial Favorable to Jeffords' Producer Responsibility Act of 2002
Forwarded from Pat Franklin:

The following editorial ran in the Detroit Free Press on
June 24, 3003.  A letter submitted to the editor by
Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-MI) follows the editorial.
Bottle Opener


Michigan's 26-year-old bottle return law has worked so well to
reduce litter and reuse resources it's hard to believe we're
one of only 10 states to have one.

But U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vermont, has vowed to give a
national bottle bill its first thorough public legislative
hearing in a decade in the Senate's Environment and Public
Works Committee, which he chairs.

It's about time.

More than 114 billion beverage containers were thrown away
rather than recycled in 1999, a 50-percent increase in bottle
and can waste since 1992, according to the Container Recycling

Efforts to create a national container deposit law have
traditionally been thwarted by special interests -- bottlers,
distributors and retailers. This despite the fact that more
bottles and cans are recycled in the 10 states with deposits
than in the 40 without.

Jeffords' initiative would mandate a 10-cent deposit and a
target of 80 percent recycling of bottles and cans, leaving
the details up to industry.

It faces a huge uphill fight.

But even if it never leaves committee after its July 11
hearing, the bill will again establish a public dialogue on
an issue that -- if common sense were the only consideration
-- would be a no-brainer.

Congress hasn't had a bona fide deposit-law champion since
the untimely passing of west Michigan Congressman Paul Henry
in 1993.

Henry would be proud to see the delegation from Michigan
coalesce behind Jeffords' bill.

He'd also be proud if Michigan legislators found the courage
to buck business opposition to adding juice, water and wine
cooler containers to Michigan's return law.

Four of the five major-party candidates for governor --
Republican Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus is the lone dissenter --
support such a change. Voters should demand their legislative
candidates do likewise.


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