For the first time in at least a decade, Congress is considering a national bottle bill, thanks to the efforts of Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), head of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Jeffords, who has battled for such a bottle bill for nearly 30 years, introduced a measure today that would shift the burden of recycling from states, cities, and consumers to the beverage industry, which would be responsible for recycling at least 80 percent of its containers within two years of passage of the bill. Under the terms of the bill, Americans would pay a deposit of at least 10 cents on cans and bottles, which could be redeemed upon recycling. Unsurprisingly, the measure has made industry reps grumpy: “We have a fundamental problem understanding why there’s always this focus on beverage containers,” said Drew Davis, vice president for federal affairs at the National Soft Drink Association. “Why not focus on paper or yard waste?”

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