Guam – Yesterday afternoon, Bill 149 became Public Law 30-221. Bill 149, Senator Muna Barnes’ third attempt at bottle bill legislation, was introduced in June 2009. The legislation adds a five cent deposit on beverage containers identified for recycling efforts. The five cent deposit will go into the Beverage Container Recycling Deposit Fund. 80%, or four cents, will be returned to the consumer when the deposit beverages are redeemed. The remaining 20%, or one cent, will be used for administrative costs, auditing costs and educational outreach.
“This bill is not just an environmental issue. It is also an economic issue. Residents will be proactively engaged in reducing the litter on our beaches, roadways and jungles. This legislation will help alleviate the burden placed on the Tourism Attraction Fund and other tax dollars spent on removing and reducing litter. It will encourage the development of young entrepreneurs who will enter into public private partnerships while improving our environment and stimulating our economy. The Bottle Bill is the first step our youth will take toward jobs of the future…green jobs,” explains the Senator.
For the first time in the 8 year evolution of this measure, the military, which accounts for a significant amount of the containers, is ready to participate, nonprofit stakeholders are ready to work, UOG’s Green Army is ready to educate our community on the value of recycling, and our people are eager to turn one man’s trash into another man’s treasure.
Public Law 30-221, The Bottle Bill, is good environmental policy. It lends support to reducing our waste stream, recycling disposable goods, and creating green jobs. Green policy is profitable, it is proactive, and it can have a positive impact on the manner in which we build community.