The recently completed legislative session notched a number of wins — but also some losses — for environmentalists.
The bottle bill expansion reflects ambitions for the future of recycling in Connecticut beyond a doubling of the deposits.
The Senate voted 33-1 to overhaul Connecticut’s 43-year-old bottle bill law by doubling the deposits on returnable bottles and cans.
Connecticut’s systems, regulations and policies supporting recycling are decades old, and the materials coming from recyclers now have limited value as commodities. It is at a loss, both economically and environmentally, as well as far behind its neighbors in making its recycling systems more responsive to the times.
A 10 cent tax on plastic shopping bags was approved by the Senate Tuesday. The bill also bans plastic bags after 2021.
Connecticut’s package stores have proposed a 10-cent “recycling fee” as a compromise alternative to the 25-cent deposit Gov. Ned Lamont recommended last month.
As state legislators, my colleagues and I are charged with two basic tasks – forming sound public policy, and finding a way to pay for such policies in a responsible manner. Our continuing fiscal crisis, however, has once again caused good public policy to suffer at the expense of funding our government’s unsustainable spending habits.