A coalition of groups ranging from the Sierra Club to the League of Women Voters is pressing lawmakers to revive discussion of changes in the state’s bottle deposit law. Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Richard Leopold led a news conference at the statehouse this morning.
"The talk about (the) bottle bill and expansion of the bottle bill has been going on for years and years so it’s something that Governor Culver believes very strongly in. We’ve been working on it since this last summer and it’s something that we just want the discussion to continue on," Leopold said.
Governor Chet Culver has been pressing to include drink containers for non-carbonated beverages — like water bottles — under the deposit, but Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal said last week there is no consensus on the issue and debate has been tabled.
According to Leopold, who is the governor’s top environmental advisor, "a lot" of Iowans who support changes in the bottle bill are talking to other legislators, hoping for a breakthrough. "I really think that the public wants it. I think it makes sense," Leopold said. "I think we even working with industry — with the grocers and the distributors — we could find a solution that would work for everybody."
Judy Hoffman of the League of Women Voters of Iowa says the bottle bill should be updated. "Efforts to change the bottle bill have languished in the legislature over the years due to a stalemate on needed changes," Hoffman says. "It’s time for all groups involved to work together to help Iowa recycle more and to make our state a cleaner place to live. It’s time for the debate to begin."