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Michigan Bill Proposed to Improve Bottle Recycling

The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, gave a heartwarming speech for his final State of the State address in late January of this year. He claims that he worked hard during his time in office, and it has shown. He states that Michigan is in a much better place than it was when he took office in 2010, despite its ups and downs.

Of those things that he claims have improved for the state of Michigan during his time in office, some include rural broadband access, recycling, Asian carp in the Great Lakes, water infrastructure, and the replacement of money. Recycling holds some of the biggest importance for environmental improvement for Michigan.

Currently, Michigan’s bottle deposit law is over 42 years old. Residents of Michigan can get 10 cents back per bottle when they return empty soft drink, beer, wine bottles, or carbonated water containers to their local grocery store. The people of Michigan are very good at recycling, seeing as 97% of those containers have been returned for the refund of a dime. Although this seems like a great feat, not all beverage containers have been eligible for the return deposit in the current bill.

In late January, a new bill was proposed to change the current bottle deposit laws. The new law would include water and juice bottles and cans to the list of containers that consumers can receive a bottle deposit for. Considering that 2.5 million plastic bottles are used in America every hour, this would be a huge step up.

This bill came right around the same time that Governor Snyder stated that he wanted to improve recycling efforts throughout the state. Snyder’s plans to improve recycling included promises of recycling bins in all state facilities, increasing educational efforts to encourage recycling throughout the state, and reforming the state’s solid-waste laws to slow the development of landfills in the state.

Michigan is taking its role to protect the environment very seriously, and it is surprising to see. Will other states see the example and follow suit?

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