Ten states have bottle bills, and funds from unreturned bottles bring in millions annually. Washington’s education budget and state parks have taken a massive hit in recent years with decreased funding.
Instituting a bottle bill could bring much needed funding (of course not 100 percent) toward either or both of these programs, not to mention saving untold millions of tons of natural resources and providing thousands of permanent jobs for local Washingtonians, from staff at recycling centers, to bottle redemption staff, to truckers who would haul the bottles and cans to recyclers.
Washingtonians use millions of pounds of processed aluminum every year in the form of beer and soda cans. The vast majority of this processed, purified metal is sent to the landfill in Arlington, Ore., after a single use.
In a state with such a large aeronautical industry, it makes no sense to continue to waste this precious resource.
Washington is one of the most progressive states on the West Coast. It is time for us to catch up to Oregon and California and institute our own bottle bill. Beverage consumption is only increasing over the years; let’s tap into that source of revenue to help fund Washington’s most worthy causes.