MassRecycle: Helping you Understand the Massachusetts Bottle Bill

Executive Summary

The 1983 Massachusetts Bottle Bill was one of the first container deposit systems in the nation.  It was enacted at a time of increased awareness of environmental pollution and roadside litter.  Federal and state measures were taken in the 1970’s and 1980’s to prohibit open burning, close open dumps, and set standards for sanitary landfills.  A move away from refillable containers, expanded use of disposable packaging, and standards for environmentally sound solid waste disposal led to a solid waste capacity crisis.  To ameliorate this crisis, waste diversion efforts were put into effect to direct recyclable materials away from the waste stream.  Massachusetts conducted a pilot study in 1976 that demonstrated the feasibility of residential curbside recycling.  By 1989 Massachusetts was operating twenty curbside recycling programs.  The Bottle Bill was diverting deposit containers from the waste stream, and coincided with reduced roadside litter.  Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) were established to manage the materials stream after a portion of aluminum, glass, and plastic containers were captured through redemption. The initial $0.05 deposit has not been increased since 1983 and does not compare to more successful deposit systems in the nation that offer $0.10-$0.15.  Redemption rates in Massachusetts have fallen from 81% in 1989-1997, to 50% in 2019.

Efforts to update the Massachusetts Bottle Bill are hotly debated.  Those who support expansion emphasize the effects on roadside litter, generation of clean and sorted materials for downstream processes, reduced mining and manufacturing of virgin materials, potential savings for municipalities resulting from reduced tonnage, the container deposit economy including employment by this system, and the cash flow related to bottle deposits.  Opponents of an expanded Bottle Bill voice concern for lost revenue for MRFs, diversion of material away from the businesses who invested in this industry, cost of additional redemption infrastructure,  additional consumer cost of beverages, and consequent costs for municipalities.  The discrepancy between predictions of costs versus savings for municipalities may depend on an individual municipality’s strategy for recycling collection and removal.   Additionally, there exists technology that may enable MRFs to collect deposits on containers in their waste stream, though it is only applicable to containers that have not been crushed and it requires laborious hand-sorting.  While the impact on municipalities, and the MRFs upon which Massachusetts relies, is debated, it has been demonstrated that container deposit systems incentivize recycling.

History

History of the Bottle Deposit System in Massachusetts: Litter and Solid Waste Capacity

The Massachusetts Bottle Bill is a Deposit Return System (DRS) that places a small deposit on a container that is refunded upon return by the consumer.  DRS strategies are currently utilized in over 40 countries or regions, including 10 US states and 8 Canadian Provinces [1].  These systems have been shown to incentivize recycling, result in clean materials for downstream processes, and reduce litter [2-8].  The last claim is the most difficult to track, and has been the most hotly debated, even before the inception of DRS legislation [8, 9].  While recycling is now practiced in every  Massachusetts municipality, the DRS was enacted at a time when the state had little recycling infrastructure and redemption was one of the only methods of collecting bottles and cans.

The Massachusetts Beverage Container Recovery Law of 1981, implemented in 1983, was one of the first of its kind in the nation and came on the heels of federal and state regulations regarding the environmental impact of solid waste (10,11].  The national Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965 was passed to address concerns about pollution, the financial burden of waste disposal, loss of economic product through waste, and diminishing domestic solid waste capacity [12].  In 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act set national goals for waste reduction and parameters for environmentally sound disposal [13].  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set goals to identify open dumps and sanitary landfills within the coming year.  The addition of Subtitle D, in 1980, set criteria for municipal solid waste landfills and prohibited the open dumping of solid waste.

In Massachusetts, open burning of solid waste was commonplace until the Massachusetts Air Pollution Control Regulations of 1970. In 1971, state landfill regulations defined sanitary landfills and dumps, forcing dumps to restructure or close. Sanitary landfills at this time were not what we consider acceptable today and were not lined [14].  The nation’s post-war population boom, increased personal wealth, trends toward disposable packaging, and the introduction of plastics had converged to create a solid waste crisis [summarized in 5, 12].   In 1960, 95% of soft drinks and 50% beer in the US were packaged in refillable bottles.  In stark contrast, by 1975 only 33% of soft drinks and 21% of beer containers were returnable. Accompanying this shift away from refillable containers was an increase in roadside litter, with 1975 seeing 4 billion beverage containers discarded along roadways (summarized in [8]).  It should be noted that “recyclable materials” during the 1970’s were paper, glass, corrugated cardboard, and metal cans. Plastics were considered a novel recyclable material well into the late 1980’s [15].

The 1983 Massachusetts Bottle Bill legislation came at a time when municipal recycling programs were in their infancy.  In 1975, Massachusetts was awarded two grants from the EPA to pursue pilot residential recycling programs in Marblehead and Somerville  [16, 17].  The resulting three-year study demonstrated that residential curbside recycling was economically and logistically feasible.  The Massachusetts Bureau of Solid Waste Disposal 1986 report stated that Massachusetts “…has been engaging in the initiation of a statewide recycling program. The program is expected to feature curbside collection of mixed recyclables, and processing at ‘Material Recovery Facilities’ (MRFs).” [18].  By 1989 Massachusetts was planning four state-owned MRFs, and operating twenty curbside recycling programs, nine combustion facilities, and 194 active landfills.  The Bottle Bill was diverting deposit containers from the waste stream and coincided with reduced roadside litter.  MRFs were established to manage the materials stream after a portion of aluminum, glass, and plastic containers were captured through DRS.  

Massachusetts Recycling Infrastructure:

Economic and Environmental Impacts of an Updated Bottle Bill

A network of state-owned MRFs did not materialize. Most residential recyclable materials are processed by nine Massachusetts MRFs, run by six private companies [19].  Containers that fall under proposed Bottle Bill legislation include historically high-value materials such as aluminum cans and PET plastic bottles.  Glass beverage bottles, also covered under potential Bottle Bill legislation, are used for beneficial reuse at an expense. 

The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), a solid waste industry trade association, published a 2022 report listing current MRF tonnage composition and respective revenues.  Their data states that current PET, aluminum, and glass beverage bottles account for 24.7% of revenue per ton using 2021 prices, or 33.7% of revenue per ton using five year average costs*  [20].  It is important to note that bottle deposit systems do not achieve 100% redemption.  The portion of containers not returned, representing a portion of revenue recovered without deposit redemption at MRFs, can only be estimated by statistical modeling [2].  The same NWRA study modeled six different redemption scenarios that projected a fixed cost/ton increase from $8.50 – $15.20, depending on scenario [20].  These projections depend heavily on consumer participation in container redemption.  Michigan’s DRS is one of the most successful systems, with a deposit of $0.10 on applicable containers and a return rate of 88.7% in 2019.  In contrast, Massachusetts currently maintains a $0.05 deposit on applicable containers and saw a return rate of 50% in 2019 [28].  The NWRA study assumes a 65% return rate with a $0.05 deposit, and an 80% return rate with a $0.10 deposit.  This would mean a significant loss of revenue for MRFs and potential increased costs for municipalities.

Studies from the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) highlight the economic benefit of the Massachusetts DRS [21, 22].  This report focuses on the infrastructure of container redemption, employment by this system, and the cash flow related to bottle deposits.  In 2015, Massachusetts had 1,480 jobs related to the collection, transport, and processing of deposit containers [21].  These jobs are based on a 59% deposit container return rate and could increase with higher return rates.  This study also states that 1.2 billion containers were redeemed for their deposit.  These containers were worth approximately $19 million as materials, versus  $60 million as containers carrying a $0.05 per piece deposit.  This highlights the stark difference between a container’s value as a commodity versus its deposit value.

It is unclear how the redirection of materials from MRFs will impact municipalities.  The above CRI study stated that  “by redirecting containers from the municipal waste stream, the Bottle Bill saves cities and towns the cost associated with collection, recycling, and/or disposal of those containers; these cost savings are likely on the order of $20 million annually.”  This study does not give information regarding the steps taken to arrive at an annual savings of $20 million; therefore we cannot extrapolate the influence of the Bottle Bill legislation on individual municipalities.  Alternately, the NWRA concluded from their models that Bottle Bill expansion could result in an increased cost of $2.50-$4.50 per household annually for municipalities.  These numbers appear in opposition, but it is important to note that CRI is presenting data based on the 2015 scenario of a waste stream that developed in conjunction with the development of MRFs.  The NWRA study presents a model of a sudden change in MRF tonnage composition.  Redirected aluminum and PET containers would presumably increase tipping fees for municipalities, but reduced tonnage would mean municipalities would have to pay to handle less volume.  Inversely, removing glass from waste streams would decrease MRF costs.  The effect on each municipality would depend on the way in which they handle their solid waste.

  • Municipalities with a transfer station that hauls their own materials would see a direct effect of reduced volume in trucking costs and fewer containers, but will possibly pay increased tipping fees per trailer to a MRF that has adjusted prices to compensate for lost revenue from aluminum and PET.
  • Municipalities with a transfer station that hires trucking and pays per load would enjoy fewer trucking fees, though these may be adjusted by haulers to make up for lost revenue, and the municipality will likely pay increased tipping fees to a MRF.
  • Municipalities utilizing curbside pickup have a less linear relationship between volume and price.  The number of households and total tonnage are factored into the cost of curbside pickup, and the amount that each of these factors contribute varies among contracts.  To put it simply, fewer containers in the recycling bin do not reduce the number of stops a garbage truck has to make.  This scenario is further altered by the potential for increased MRF tipping fees.
  • MRFs that have access to non-compacted containers and that implement modern scanning equipment, or which open redemption centers, could theoretically achieve competitive advantages.

Expansion of the Massachusetts Bottle Bill is not only an economic question; it is an important environmental one. The effects of DRS on litter have been hotly debated, however, evidence suggests that deposit systems effectively reduce litter and ocean plastics.  A 2020 study by Clean Virginia Waterways found that bottles and cans made up 22% of littered items reported in Virginia, compared to states with Bottle Bills that reported an average of 8.7% bottle and can litter [23].  Similarly, comparison of larger coastal debris surveys from 28 states found that there were 38% fewer beverage containers in coastal litter of Bottle Bill states versus those without deposit legislation [5].  Studies from the 1970’s, performed in states that had recently adopted bottle deposit legislation, observed dramatic differences in litter in the same area before and after.   Within the first year of implementation of container deposits in Oregon, beverage-related roadside trash had declined by 66% and total litter was reduced by 11%.  Similarly, Michigan saw an 82% reduction in container litter and 41%reduction in total litter along highways in the first year of container deposits.  In Maine and Vermont, the first year of bottle deposit legislation saw beverage container litter reduced by 69-77% and 76%, respectively (reviewed in [8]).   A significant reduction in total litter directly after DRS legislation is not only the result of fewer beverage containers, but also a reflection of social attitude.  Research has demonstrated that people are more likely to litter in areas that already contain litter rather than areas that are litter free [24-26].  Reduction in litter-related behavior might be considered a secondary benefit of successful DRS legislation.

Below is a selection of articles representing environmental advocates and industry groups.

Deposit return systems are a key part of solving the plastic paradox
By Elizabeth Balkan
From WasteDive.com
Published March 29, 2021
https://www.wastedive.com/news/deposit-return-systems-solution-plastic-reloop/597277/

National bottle bill likely to land in Congress soon
by Marissa Heffernan
From Resource-Recycling.com
Published February 8, 2022
https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2022/02/08/national-bottle-bill-likely-to-land-in-congress-soon/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=Feb+8+RR

In Our Opinion: The right design for container deposits
by Robert Budway, Can Manufacturers Institute and Lauren Wilk, The Aluminum Association
From Resource-Recycling.com
Published: March 3, 2020
https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2020/03/03/in-our-opinion-the-right-design-for-container-deposits/

Reimagining the Bottle Bill
Prepared by: Reloop
Published: March 15, 2022
https://bottlebillreimagined.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Reloop-Report.pdf

Ongoing bottle bill expansion debates heat up in four states
By Megan Quinn
From WasteDive.com
Published March 30, 2022
https://www.wastedive.com/news/2022-bottle-bill-expansion-california-massachusetts-vermont-iowa/621162/

Push to update bottle bill gains more support
By Christian M. Wade
From The Eagle-Tribune
Published February 22, 2022
https://www.eagletribune.com/news/push-to-update-bottle-bill-gains-more-support/article_1f47d2d2-933b-11ec-bb62-e79a912d3554.html

Modernizing the bottle recycling program in Mass. would have big benefits, report finds
By Miriam Wasser
From WBUR.org
Published March 15, 2022
https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/03/15/modernizing-bottle-bill-plastic-recycling

Better Bottle Bill – H3289/S2149
Prepared by Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group
From MASSPIRG.org
Published January 2022
https://masspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/resources/Better%20Bottle%20Bill%20Factsheet%20%28H3289-S2149%29.pdf

Massachusetts Container Deposit Return System: 2016 Employment and Economic Impacts in the Commonwealth
Prepared by Container Recycling Institute
Published June 2017, Addendum April 2018
https://www.container-recycling.org/index.php/publications

Economic Impact of Beverage Container Deposits on Municipal Recycling processing Costs
Prepared for National Waste and Recycling Association by Resource Recycling Systems
Published January 2022
From wasterecycling.org
https://wasterecycling.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Impact-of-beverage-container-deposits-on-recycling-processing-costs-Final.pdf

Rewarding Recycling: Learning from the World’s Highest-Performing Deposit Return Systems
Prepared by TOMRA
From TOMRA.com
Published January 2021
https://circular-economy.tomra.com/resources/drs-white-paper

Bottle Bill Resource Guide – Massachusetts.
Prepared by Container Recycling Institute
From BottleBill.org
Last Updated on May 17 2022
https://www.bottlebill.org/index.php/current-and-proposed-laws/usa/massachusetts

*Percent of revenue/ton based on the weighted value of each material per MRF ton based on either 2015 or 5 year average costs (NWRA 2022). For example: 2015 Aluminum Beverage: ($1,495/ton) (1.5% MRF ton composition)= 14.38% of $156 2021 MRF ton. By comparison 5 year average Aluminum Beverage:  ($1,193/ton) (1.5% MRF ton composition) = 24.51% of $73    5 year average MRF ton.

MassRecycle: We Want to Support a Feasible Bottle Bill

MassRecycle wants to see an updated Bottle Bill that incentivizes consumer participation, increases scope, applies non-refunded deposits to a recycling fund, and works with the current Massachusetts recycling infrastructure.

MassRecycle sees feasible Deposit Return System (DRS) legislation including the following:

(1) An increase in bottle deposit to $0.15, to adjust for inflation since the 1983 deposit of $0.05 was implemented.

(2) Language that explicitly allows MRFs and other recyclers to redeem deposits, through bar code scanning or hand scanning, and keep the material for recycling.

(3) A deposit assigned to glass wine and liquor bottles

(4) A deposit assigned to miniatures or “nips”

(5) Exclusion of plastic bottles that hold two liters or more

(6) A plan for universal acceptance, potentially including, but not limited to:

  • Universal acceptance by reverse vending machines, not just the brands and sizes of containers sold by a particular retailer
  • A requirement for large retailers that sell deposit containers, for example those that occupy a space of 5,000 sq. ft. or more, to accept all deposit containers not just the brands and sizes that they sell
  • Incentives to open redemption centers, especially in western and central Massachusetts
  • Support for small businesses to hold returned containers and/or to work with redemption centers
  • Increased infrastructure for the collection and transport of returned containers, rather than dependence on beverage distributors

(7) Trigger language to retire or sunset bottle deposits within 12 months of passage of any Extended Producer Responsibility system covering the packaging or container in question.

(8) Unredeemed deposits sent to a recycling fund rather than the Massachusetts General Fund.  These funds could be used to support municipalities struggling to cope with increased tipping fees, or to support improvements to recycling infrastructure.

(1) Increased Deposit

Consumer DRS participation can be increased through an updated deposit value.  The deposit of $0.05 that Massachusetts set in 1983 has not changed while the redemption rate has fallen.  Based on Consumer Price Index information, $0.05 in 1983 is equivalent to $0.15 in 2020.  Concurrent with diminishing deposit value, container return rate in Massachusetts has fallen from an average of 81% from 1989-1997, to 50% in 2019 [27,28].  In contrast, Michigan’s $0.10 deposit corresponds to an 89% return rate.  An increased deposit may also provide an opportunity for some MRFs to recoup revenue lost from diverted aluminum and PET beverage containers, as discussed below.  

(2) Provisions for Recycling Processors

Massachusetts depends on MRFs to process our recyclable materials.  As discussed in the previous section, Massachusetts Recycling Infrastructure: Economic and Environmental Impacts of an Updated Bottle Bill, an expanded Bottle Bill will divert a portion of high-value materials away from MRFs.  We propose language explicitly allowing MRFs and other recyclers to redeem deposits, through bar code scanning or hand scanning, and keep the material for recycling.  This provision has the potential to enable processors to adapt to changes in material streams and buy into Bottle Bill expansion.

Large redemption processors utilize barcode readers paired with rolling conveyor belts to scan large numbers of deposit containers.  Under current legislation, redemption centers earn a handling fee, $0.0325  (3.25¢,) for each container processed, and pay the consumer their $0.05 deposit.  Containers coming to MRFs through recycling streams would not require payment of the $0.05 deposit to the consumer, therefore would be worth the deposit and handling fee.  Importantly, barcode scanning is dependent on the integrity of a printed SKU code on each container and would not be applicable to materials that have been compacted.  The viability of this option for MRFs is dependent on the container being valuable enough to cover the investment necessary to process the small percentage of containers with intact SKU codes.  A 2017 study from CRI states that the 1.2 billion beverage containers redeemed in 2015 had a value of approximately $19 million as materials, versus  $60 million as containers carrying a $0.05 per piece deposit [21].  This highlights the stark difference between a container’s value as a commodity versus its deposit value.  An increased deposit value, paired with language that allows MRFs to redeem deposits and keep the material for recycling, could provide processors a compensatory revenue stream. 

(3) Inclusion of Glass Wine and Liquor Bottles

MassRecycle encourages the inclusion of glass wine and liquor bottles in the DRS.  Glass is a highly recyclable material that may be added directly to manufacturing to decrease energy consumption and displace virgin material [27, 30-32].  While it is less of a litter concern, glass is heavy to transport, represents negative revenue for MRFs, and increases costs to municipalities.  Given the loss of MRF revenue that aluminum and PET plastic represent, the removal of glass from the waste stream is logical. 

(4) Inclusion of Miniatures or “Nips”

MassRecycle endorses the inclusion of miniatures or “nips” in the DRS.  Given the legal consequences of open liquor containers in vehicles, miniatures will continue to be discarded along roads.  A deposit on these containers has the potential to combat roadside litter.   It should be noted that an investment in machinery is likely required to add miniatures to the recycling stream effectively.  Current machinery is designed for larger containers and miniatures are small enough to escape.

(5) Exclusion of Plastic Bottles Containing Two Liters or More

Beverage containers holding two liters or more are often used at home, therefore are less likely to become litter and are a lower priority of container deposit systems.  One of the arguments against expansion of Massachusetts Bottle Bill legislation is that the removal of high value materials, aluminum and PET plastic, will decrease MRF revenues and result in higher costs for municipalities.  Keeping large plastic containers in the current solid waste stream would make the effects on MRF commodities less drastic.

MassRecycle is committed to recycling.  We endorse measures to increase and support recycling.  Massachusetts currently relies upon MRFs to manage our recycling stream.  Provisions to mitigate some of the impact upon MRF revenues make an expanded Bottle Bill more feasible within the current Massachusetts recycling infrastructure.

(6) Universal Acceptance

MassRecycle would like to see legislation that sets forth a plan for universal acceptance of deposit containers.  Implementation of universal acceptance is not a simple undertaking and will require an investment in infrastructure.  That being said, ease of redemption is an important part of a high-performing DRS.  We recommend that the following five points be considered when designing a plan for universal acceptance of deposit containers in Massachusetts.

  • Universal acceptance by reverse vending machines, not just the brands and sizes of containers sold by a particular retailer
  • A requirement for large retailers that sell deposit containers, for example those that occupy a space of 5,000 sq. ft. or more, to accept all deposit containers not just the brands and sizes that they sell
  • Incentives to open redemption centers, especially in western and central Massachusetts
  • Support for small businesses to hold returned containers and/or to work with redemption centers
  • Increased infrastructure for the collection and transport of returned containers, rather than dependence on beverage distributors

To increase the consumer return rate, redemption should be convenient and consistent.  For example, Michigan’s 89% return rate is based upon a  $0.10 deposit and 1 redemption location per 739 consumers (1:739).  California sees a 67% return rate from a $0.05 deposit on containers under 24oz, and  $0.10 deposit on containers 24oz and over with 1 redemption location per 32,411 consumers (1:32,411) [2].  California’s return rate highlights the need for continuity and convenience in successful DRS legislation.

Current Massachusetts legislation only requires retailers to accept the sizes and brands of container that they sell.  This has led to a patchwork of infrastructure that is confusing to consumers.  To provide deposit redemption, retailers must either invest in reverse vending or hand sort.  The ability to hand sort is dependent on staff hours and space to store containers.  This is challenging in small and/or urban stores where space is at a premium.  Hand sorting also relies on beverage distributors to take back the brands and sizes that they have sold to that retailer.  This lack of infrastructure ensures that universal acceptance cannot take place at retail establishments under the current system.

Reverse vending is utilized by larger retailers, allows for redemption of a wide selection of deposit containers, and results in clean, sorted material [2, 4, 7, 22]

Reverse vending machines scan barcodes to identify container material and prevent fraudulent redemption.  This technology is dependent on a bar code or SKU, intact on the container, and recognized by the machine’s software.  While this system is effective for the containers of larger producers, the same containers filled by smaller producers may not have a recognized SKU.  Additionally, any damage to the container’s SKU results in rejection from the reverse vending machine. This can lead to consumer frustration, which discourages redemption.

Today in Massachusetts there are 41 non-retail redemption centers, 33 of these are concentrated in southeastern Massachusetts and around Boston.  For central Massachusetts residents, there are two redemption centers in Worcester and one in Dudley.  Western Massachusetts has even less coverage with just 5 redemption centers [29].  This patchy coverage leaves residents in the central and western portions of the state with very few redemption options.  Incentives to open redemption centers throughout central and western Massachusetts are a logical step in increasing consumer participation in those regions.

(7) Sunset Upon Implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility Measures

Extended Producer Responsibility legislation (EPR) seeks to move the cost of treatment or disposal of post-consumer products, from municipalities to producers.  This legislation provides a mechanism to hold producers financially responsible for the costs of treating toxic materials or disposing of non-recyclable materials.  Funds collected may in turn be used to reimburse municipalities, make investments in recycling infrastructure, support recycling education programs, etc.  This strategy also serves to disincentivize the production of non-recyclable packaging.  

EPR applies to a product rather than a specific manufacturer, such as EPR for mattresses, paint, or packaging. 

In order to ensure non-competing systems, we propose that trigger language be included in future Bottle Bill legislation to retire or sunset bottle deposits within 12 months of passage of any Extended Producer Responsibility system covering the packaging or container in question.  Maine has a long standing bottle deposit system and has recently enacted the nation’s first EPR for packaging.  To ensure non-competition, they have excluded beverage containers already covered by their DRS from EPR (34).   

(8) Unredeemed Deposits to a Recycling Fund

Though the intent of the 1983 Bottle Bill was to use unredeemed deposits to support recycling, they are currently directed into the Massachusetts General Fund.  Utilizing these funds for recycling infrastructure would help to offset initial investments (such as that to process miniatures and establish universal redemption), support municipalities that may struggle to pay increased tipping fees, and has the potential to garner public trust.  Environmental advocates, independent researchers, and industry groups recommend that unredeemed deposits be invested back into recycling [2, 4, 31].  It is reported that of the $226 million in unredeemed deposits from 1990-2002,  $60 million (23%) was used to support recycling [33].  The distribution of funds from unredeemed deposits depends on the current legislature.  MassRecycle supports the establishment of a recycling fund, with clear objectives, that would invest unredeemed deposits back into recycling.

MassRecycle would like to support an updated Bottle Bill that incentivizes consumer participation, increases scope, applies non-refunded deposits to a recycling fund, and works with the current Massachusetts recycling infrastructure.  The benefits of a Bottle Bill are clear, from reduced litter, to generating a stream of clean and separated materials, to the need for those materials in manufacturing.  We want a Bottle Bill that Massachusetts can fully endorse.

Works Cited

  1. Zhou, G., et al., A systematic review of the deposit-refund system for beverage packaging: Operating mode, key parameter and development trend. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2020. 251.
  2. TOMRA, Rewarding Recycling: Learnings from the World’s Highest-Performing Deposit Return Systems. 2021.
  3. Law, K.L., et al., The United States’ contribution of plastic waste to land and ocean. Science Advances, 2020. 6.
  4. Linderhof, V., et al., Effectiveness of deposit-refund systems for household waste in the Netherlands: Applying a partial equilibrium model. Journal of Environmental Management, 2019. 232: p. 842-850.
  5. Schuyler, Q., et al., Economic incentives reduce plastic inputs to the ocean. Marine Policy, 2018. 96: p. 250-255.
  6. Geyer, R., J.R. Jambeck, and K.L. Law, Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances, 2017. 3(7).
  7. Walls, M., Deposit-Refund Systems in Practice and Theory. 2011.
  8. Moore, W.K. and D.L. Scott, Beverage Container Deposit Laws: A Survey of the Issues and Results. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 1983. 17(1): p. 57-80.
  9. King, E.J., Response to House Bill 7320. 1981.
  10. An Act To Provide Economic Incentives For Consumers To Return Used Beverage Containers And To Encourage The Conservation Of Materials And Energy Through The Recycling And Reuse Thereof, H.R. 5180 (1981).
  11. 15 MGL § 321-327.
  12. EPA, Initiating a National Effort to Improve Solid Waste Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1971.
  13. 42 USC  § 6901
  14. MassDEP, The Massachusetts Solid Waste master Plan: “Toward a System of Integrated Solid Waste Management”, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 1989.
  15. Brewer, G., Plastics recycling Action Plan for Massachusetts – Part 1. Journal of Environmental Systems, 1988. 18(3): p. 213-264.
  16. EPA, Awards Register Grants Assistance Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1975.
  17. EPA, Source Separation: the community awareness program in Somerville and Marblehead, Massachusetts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1976.
  18. MBSWD, Waste Composition Studies, Massachusetts Bureau of Solid Waste Disposal. 1986.
  19. MassDEP, Materials Recovery Facilities in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 2019.
  20. NWRA, Economic Impacts of Beverage Container Deposits on Municipal Recycling Processing Costs, National Waste and Recycling Association. 2022.
  21. Container Recycling Institute, Massachusetts Container Deposit Return System: 2016 Employment and Economic Impacts in the Commonwealth. 2017.
  22. Container Recycling Institute, Massachusetts Container Deposit Return System April 2018 Addendum. 2018.
  23. Register, K., Littered Bottles and Cans: Higher in Virginia Than in States with Bottle Bills, F. Clean Virginia Waterways. Longwood University, VA. 2020.
  24. Reiter, S.M. and W. Samuel, Littering as a Function of Prior Litter and the Presence or Absence of Prohibitive Sign. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1980. 10(1): p. 45-55.
  25. Krauss, R.M., J.L. Freedman, and M. Whitcup, Field and Laboratory Studies of Littering. Social Psychology, 1978. 14: p. 109-122.
  26. Finnie, W.C., Field Experiments in Litter Control. Environment and Behavior, 1973. 5(2): p. 123-144.
  27. MassDEP, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bottle Bill Redemption Fee Study, M.D.o.E. Protection, Editor. 1999.
  28. Bottle Bill Resource Guide – Massachusetts. Retrieved from: https://www.bottlebill.org/index.php/current-and-proposed-laws/usa/massachusetts
  29. MassDEP. Find a Bottle & Can Redemption Center. Retrieved from: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/find-a-bottle-can-redemption-center.
  30. MASSPIRG, Better Bottle Bill – H3289/S2149. 2022.
  31. Budway, R. and L. Wilk In Our Opinion: The right design for container deposits. 2020.
  32. Štefanić, N. and A. Pilipovic, Impact of Glass Cullet on the Consumption of Energy and Environment in the Production of Glass Packaging Material. Recent Researches in Chemistry, Biology, Environment and Culture, 2011.
  33. The Fate of unredeemed or Abandoned Deposits. Retrieved from: 

https://www.bottlebill.org/index.php/about-bottle-bills/the-fate-of-unredeemed-or-abandoned-deposits

  1. 24 MRS § 2146.