On March 24, 2021

Vermonters overwhelmingly support expanded bottle bill

Over 4 out of 5 also want it updated to cover more containers

Vermont’s bottle bill is not only one of the state’s most successful environmental programs, having recycling more than 10 billion containers since 1972, it also may be the most popular.

The Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) released new statewide polling data on Tuesday, March 16 that showed 88% of respondents support the current bottle bill program with just 8% opposed. And as a proposal to modernize Vermont’s container redemption program moves toward a crucial vote in the House, the poll suggests overwhelming public support for a key provision of the legislation.

H.175, now being considered in the House Ways & Means committee, would expand the scope of Vermont’s law by covering water bottles, sports drinks, and wine, among other things. The VPIRG poll, conducted by the independent firm, Lincoln Park Strategies, found 83% support for such an expansion, with 64% of respondents strongly supporting the idea.

“These findings demonstrate just incredible public support for the bottle bill and for legislation to update it,” said Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG. “In fact, the bottle bill may be the only thing in the state more popular than Phil Scott right now,” he joked, noting that in a poll done last month by the same firm, Gov. Scott was viewed favorably by 80% of respondents.

According to the poll, 91% of respondents have used the current law to return containers for redemption to a retailer or redemption center. Among those supporting the law, the top three reasons given were because it reduces litter, increases recycling, and protects the environment.

On Feb. 26, the key environmental committee in the House passed H.175 on an 8-3 vote.

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