District residents are increasingly frustrated with and disgusted by bottle and can litter and illegal dumping polluting our neighborhoods and waterways. They’re demanding action. This pollution is an environmental justice issue, disproportionately affecting residents in lower income neighborhoods, and especially in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
Deposit-return laws – also known as “bottle bills” – work! They cut litter and trash dumping. Customers are charged a small deposit (the most successful programs charge 10-15 cents) when they purchase a drink in a bottle or can. They get their money back when they return the beverage container. It’s a system designed to incentivize customers to return their beverage containers. States with a 10 cent deposit have recovered over 90% of beverage containers sold in their jurisdiction! DC’s projected plastic recycling rate for 2023 is a mere 6.5%.
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Supported by the Recycling, Redemption and Refund Coalition (3RC for DC). See members above.
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Learn more about the Sierra Club's Zero Waste Committee's efforts on Single-Use Plastics, and join us at our monthly meetings every second Tuesday.