ISU Economist: Iowa’s Bottle Bill Falling Apart


ISU Economist: Iowa’s Bottle Bill Falling Apart

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Statewide Iowa — (RI) — An Iowa State University economist says after four decades, it’s time to update the state’s bottle and can deposit law.

Listen to interview.

Photo: Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University economist

Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes says the nickel deposit on plastic, glass and aluminum containers of alcohol and soft drinks should have been indexed for inflation. The deposit should be at least 17-cents today if that had happened, and the one-cent handling fee for redemption centers would be three cents. Hayes says raising the deposit to that level — and making other beverage containers subject to the deposit — would increase recycling.

Late last week, Hayes addressed members of two key legislative committees that are considering changes to the bottle deposit law. One proposal would place the five-cent deposit fee on water bottles, sports drinks and other non-carbonated and non-alcoholic beverage containers. Two other proposals would double the fee redemption centers get, in hopes of expanding the number of non-retail locations where Iowans may take their empties and get their deposit money back. Hayes is urging legislators to take action.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 10-thousand TONS of plastic water bottles and other non-carbonated drink containers that could be recycled is thrown into Iowa’s landfills each year.