Dillon: Container deposit program a must for Maryland


I am a concerned Ocean Pines, Maryland, citizen who is appalled by the unsightly litter along our roads and waterways in our otherwise beautiful Eastern Shore. It’s time to actually do something to deal with this issue. Maryland needs the Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Program (House Bill 735, Senate Bill 642) currently being considered in the Maryland legislature.

About 5.2 billion beverage containers are sold in Maryland each year, but only about 1.2 billion are captured for recycling. That means 4 billion are left in landfills, along roads, in waterways or incinerated. Ten other states and many other countries already have successful deposit return programs.

Here’s how the bill will work: A small refundable deposit would be put on beverage containers sold in Maryland. This deposit is refunded to the customer when the beverage container is returned for recycling. There will be reverse vending machines and other new technologies to help with redemption. In other words, we buy the beverage and rent the container. This program will be self-financing from fees paid by producers that sell beverages in Maryland, revenue from the sale of raw materials and unclaimed deposits.

Along with decreased litter and plastic pollution, our water quality will be improved, greenhouse gas emissions decreased, savings realized for taxpayers and local governments, and jobs created.

This bill is a win-win for Maryland citizens. We need to get involved today by calling or writing our local and state legislators to let them know we want this bill to be signed into law this year, before another 4 billion containers enter our waste stream.

Cindy Dillon

Ocean Pines, Maryland

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at civiltalk@iniusa.org.

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