Lawmakers told: Can the bottle bill
Legislation to require a deposit of five cents per container of beer, wine, water or carbonated beverages has come up frequently over the years, and has never gained much traction in Concord. The last attempt was during the legislative session of 2010, when HB675 died in committee.
The bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Charles Weed, D-Keene, acknowledged at the outset that he was "highly outnumbered" by opponents, many sporting the orange badges of lobbyists, he said.
"This kind of bill will cause people to think about recycling when they are not at home," he said.
There was some confusion over whether the bill includes wine bottles. Rep. Weed said it does not, but committee members pointed out that wine bottles are included in the bill, with no exemption.
John Dumais, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Grocers Association, told the committee he has spent the better part of his career beating back bottle bill proposals in the state.
Dumais cited a litany of concerns, including higher worker's compensation and insurance bills for employees who have to handle returned containers, problems with pest controls, and the cost of space needed to hold returned containers until they can be picked up by the distributor.
"When I was a youngster, that five cents meant something," he said. "But for most of us today, that five cents will not justify the inconvenience."firstname.lastname@example.org
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