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Indiana lawmakers consider recycling law

Keywords: Tags  bottle bill, Kate Krebs, Steven Segebarth, Verallia North America, Indiana Recycling Coalition, IRC, used beverage containers, UBCs recycling

NEW YORK — An Indiana company that manufactures glass containers is pushing state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring refundable deposits on beverages sold in recyclable cans and bottles.

Stephen Segebarth, senior vice president of Muncie, Ind.-based Verallia North America, told a joint meeting of the Indiana House and Senate environmental affairs committees that the legislation would create additional in-state jobs by providing discarded metal and glass for companies that utilize used beverage containers to manufacture new material.

The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC), a nonprofit organization that advocates policies and programs that advance sustainable materials management, is a vocal supporter of the proposed law.

"The IRC is pushing for the appropriation of $3.4 million in recycling grant dollars," IRC executive director Carey Hamilton told AMM. "We believe the timing is right to appropriate these funds. These funds were frozen in 2009 as a result of the fiscal debt crisis, but now, with robust state revenue forecasts, we want to begin to invest dollars again with the goal of increasing Indiana’s lackluster recycling rate."

Opponents of the bill say that bottle deposit schemes generally don’t work as intended.

"The beverage industry agrees with stakeholders in Indiana that recycling is important, but what matters most is how we recycle," Kate Krebs, senior environmental policy advisor for the Washington-based American Beverage Association, told AMM in an e-mail. "Container deposits lead to higher costs, more economic dislocation and unintended consequences, regardless of how the programs are designed."

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