Nearly a dozen teenagers from Mason City were at the capital Wednesday to call for an expansion to the state’s bottle deposit law. Junior Taylor Johnson says she was glad to speak out on the issue because it relates directly to kids her age.
"Many kids in high school are involved in athletics," Johnson said, "and if you go to sporting events, you’re going to notice that all the athletes drink sports drinks or bottled water. And if you look in the bleachers, you’re going to find (more bottles) and if they’re not left behind, they’re just thrown in the trash on the way out the door." Johnson held a water bottle as she spoke.
"This bottle can be recycled in states like California and a few others, so I don’t understand why we can’t do that in Iowa also," Johnson said. Johnson also believes expanding the bill would provide her and other teens with more spending cash.
Johnson says if lawmakers would put a deposit on those kinds of bottles, kids would redeem them for extra cash. The Mason City teens were invited to the statehouse by Governor Chet Culver. It’s the third time the governor has arranged for an outside group to speak on behalf of one of his legislative priorities. In January, Culver called for doubling the state’s nickel deposit – but now says he’d settle for expanding the law to include water, tea, juice and sports drink containers. Legislation that does that was approved by a house committee earlier this week, but it’s future is uncertain.