The 'Better Bottle Bill' for our environment

ACES presents its reasoning for why it supports the “Better Bottle Bill” and urges others to embrace it aswell 

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Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of guest opinion columns about fostering environmental stewardship for our surroundings and the well being of our planet and future generations. The series is coordinated by ACES, the Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards.

Today, ACES is proud to add our voices to those of the Massachusetts Municipal Association and environmentalists across the commonwealth in support of the revised “Better Bottle Bill” working its way through the Massachusetts Legislature.

It is one of the most consequential acts of environmentalism that can be achieved in the short term at the state level and within existing operationally ready structures.

ACES was formed as a way to amplify the great work of our climate and environmentally focused allies. Since our beginning a few years ago, we’ve come to be composed of over 40 organizations that are aligned with the purpose of the alliance. Today is a good time to lift our voices.

Referred to as the “Better Bottle Bill,” filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Cindy Creem, it will increase the bottle deposit from its current five cents to 10 cents and add more types of beverage containers to the program and put a deposit on water bottles, vitamin drinks, nips and bottles for other drinks that weren’t contemplated when the initial law was adopted in the early 1980s.

Why ACES is in support?

Because we are centered in Greater Newburyport on Boston’s North Shore, we are acutely aware of the unconscionable amounts of plastic and other pollution flowing down our rivers and on to our beaches. Those of us who walk our dogs or jog regularly see how much wind-blown plastics often edge our roadsides and storm drains.

That’s why ACES team members are highly motivated to speak up in strong support of the Massachusetts Legislature’s work to produce an expanded bottle bill.

This bill would result in lower costs for the residents of the city to counter the fact that waste disposal costs have skyrocketed as landfills around New England close and have stopped accepting more trash. This bill will reduce the use of fossil fuels in the production of plastic containers and help the environment. This bill will reduce trash and litter.

The next time you are out for a walk take note of how many crumpled bottles, including “nips” are strewn along our streets and caught up in fence edges. This bill reduces waste by expanding the type of containers covered by the bill and raises the fee by less than inflation since the ‘80s would justify. The existing Massachusetts law saves cities and towns on the order of $20 million in recycling costs each year, and updating the Bottle Bill promises to save municipalities even more.

Like many environmentally focused individuals and organizations across the commonwealth, we strongly urge our senators and representatives, to pass this bill.

Lobbyists are spending money to fight this idea. Legislators and opinion makers are being heavily lobbied by big beverage, liquor and plastics’ interests. They are expressing concern for their own short term financial interests in Massachusetts. But they are also being strategic nationally. They see that when we pass this bill in Massachusetts it will ripple out across the country to other states. Speaking up and urging this action now can really make an impact while helping Massachusetts lead the way on improving the environment.

ACES team members urge you to take action today

To support the passage of this important bill, ACES team members urge you to take action today. Call your city and town officials and speak up for it. Call your state representative and senator. Post your ideas on Facebook. Take and post pictures on Tic Tok or Instagram of random bottles clogging storm drains or flattened by the roadside.

Acting right now will have true impact for conserving our earth now. While 80% of containers covered by the 1980s era Bottle Bill are ultimately recycled less than 25% of beverage containers without a deposit fee are recycled. We can do better. Massachusetts must do better.

The youth of the world, like many Newburyport, Amesbury, Triton, Pentucket and River Valley Charter School students along with Greta Thunberg, have been standing witness to the need for change that is both dramatic and effective.

ACES leaders and youth believe this change will be both expansive and effective in curbing plastics pollution and increasing recycling while amplifying the great work of all ACES allies.

Please join us in speaking up to assure the passage of this bill.

The leaders and youth corps members of ACES.

To share any comments or questions, please send an email to To learn more about ACES, go to

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