While COVID-19 and the state’s budget are likely to dominate the current legislative session, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said Monday that environmental issues are also on his radar.
Speaking to the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Ritter said updating the state’s bottle bill will be his top environmental priority for the 2021 session.
The bottle bill incentivizes customers to recycle certain beverage containers with a refundable 5-cent deposit.
“I think there’s broad consensus in the legislature, both Democrat and Republican, on going from 5 to 10 cents,” Ritter said. “If we can’t do it this year, I’m not sure when we can.”
Critics of the current law argued for years that Connecticut’s deposit is too low and that the system doesn’t properly compensate recyclers.
Advocates hope boosting the deposit fee to 10 cents would encourage more recycling, reduce litter, and keep containers out of trash cans, which can make local taxes more expensive.