Do you recycle your cans and bottles? If the answer is no, would an extra 10 cents per bottle in your pocket encourage you to recycle more often? These are two big questions around a bill being considered by the state Legislature that would require returnable beverage containers to be used in New Jersey and create an incentive program to encourage New Jerseyans to recycle them.

The bill, called the Beverage Container Deposit Act, was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on May 6. Its two primary sponsors are Sens. Raj Mukherji and Andrew Zwicker. Sen. Bob Smith is the co-sponsor of the bill.

As described on the New Jersey Legislature website, the bill “requires use of returnable beverage containers in NJ and establishes deposit and refund system to facilitate return of such containers to manufacturers for reuse or proper disposal.” If the bill becomes law, two years after its enactment every filled beverage container sold or offered for sale in New Jersey would need to be a returnable container, have a refund value of 10 cents when empty and be clearly identified by a stamp, label or other mark that declares the name of the state and the container’s refund value.

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Author: Amanda Wallace,
Photo by Ambo Ampeng on Unsplash