A key senator introduced legislation this past week that would get rid of Iowa’s popular “bottle bill,” but Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Randy Feenstra says it’s just a conversation starter and will not be voted upon by any senate committee this year.
“But I want it out there for discussion,” Feenstra says.
Feenstra’s goal is to have “stakeholders” convene over the summer to come up with some alternatives.
“The Bottle Bill has done great things over the last several decades,” Feenstra says. “I think now the state needs to move forward and have a more robust and better recycling plan than just a small percentage of bottles and cans that have five cents on them, so what I’m trying to do is engage all the stakeholders and say: ‘What can we do better as a state. How can eliminate plastics and everything else that’s in the ditch or getting thrown in the dumpster?'”
Earlier this month, supporters of Iowa’s “bottle bill” financed a survey that indicates 88 percent of Iowa voters consider the deposit and redemption system for beer and pop containers is “good for the state.” Critics say the empty containers are filthy and grocery stores should not be required to accept the empty cans and bottles.
Four weeks ago, a bill was tabled in the Iowa House that would have repealed the 39-year-old “bottle bill” and raised money to set up expanded recycling efforts. Supporters of that bill say it’ll take a few years to come up with a workable alternative.