PROVIDENCE: Rhode Island environmental leaders rallied at the State House Library Thursday afternoon for the passage of H.5502, the Rhode Island bottle bill, joined by the bill’s sponsors and legislative supporters. The bill creates a 10 cent refundable deposit on all beverage containers, including “nips,” in order to increase recycling and decrease litter.
"Despite decades of anti-littering efforts and an increase in single-stream recycling, litter and plastic pollution are persistent and growing environmental problems across Rhode Island. At the same time, our recycling system is failing to capture and recycle beverage containers. A recycling refund system - as proposed in H5502 - would address both of these problems by reducing litter, and improving our recycling rate." -Jed Thorp, State Director, Clean Water Action
"At Save The Bay's 2022 International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers collected 24,242 beverage containers and caps from Rhode Island's shorelines and beaches. Our volunteers are fed up! Passing this bill is the most important step the General Assembly can take to reduce litter pollution that impacts the Bay." -Topher Hamblett, Director of Advocacy, Save The Bay
"It is time for Rhode Island to step forward as a leader on waste reduction, recycling, and reuse. These bills would allow our state to do exactly that. By establishing a ten-cent refundable deposit on all beverage containers, a 90% redemption target, a funding stream to support local businesses and green jobs, and a pathway to reusable beverage containers, these bills would create the most effective, most equitable, and most forward-looking bottle bill in the country." -Kevin Budris, Advocacy Director, Just Zero
"Roads, beaches, and parks in states with bottle bills are much less littered by the disposal of bottles and cans because those bottles and cans have value for people who take the time to pick them up and redeem them. It’s time that Rhode Island enacted a bottle bill to help solve the plastic pollution issue and provide a cleaner environment for wildlife and people." -Priscilla De La Cruz, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Audubon Society of Rhode Island
“Litter is truly a scourge on Rhode Island’s communities. Throughout New England, we’ve seen how passing a strong bottle bill is a proven way to reduce waste, increase recycling, and slash pollution. It’s time to say no to the plastic industry’s push to put profits over people and pass the bottle bill into law.” -Mara Shulman, Senior Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation
"As stewards of the Woonasquatucket River, we work with our community to protect and improve our river’s natural resources. This happens, in large part, through litter pickup efforts throughout the watershed and single-use beverage containers are ever present. We are on the cusp of these containers becoming an implicitly accepted part of our natural landscape. We must reverse this trend. Cleanup events are not a sustainable solution to the problem of litter and a beverage container deposit is long overdue in our state." -Clare Brown, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
"During our shoreline cleanups in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, volunteers find numerous beverage containers. When we clean up in Massachusetts, we rarely find carbonated beverage containers, which is likely because they have a deposit for return.” -Mary Lou Nicholson, Be the Solution to Pollution
For more information about the legislation, please see the RI bottle bill fact sheet.