Enact a Refundable Deposit on Bottles and Cans to Increase Recycling in Colorado

Target: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Goal: Increase recycling rates in Colorado by implementing a refundable deposit on bottles and cans.

Forty to sixty percent of litter in the United States comes from beverage containers.  This litter is found on city street corners, pollutes water sources, and invades animal habitats.  Not only does it physically pollute our environment as litter, but could have been recycled.  The improper disposal of beverage containers, even into trash bins, creates the need to manufacture new bottles or cans instead of recycling the old. Recycling beverage containers saves massive amounts of energy and prevents great quantities of green house gas emissions into the atmosphere.  The state of Colorado must implement a “Bottle Bill” which places a refundable deposit on beverage containers to promote recycling and eliminate unnecessary wastes.

Container deposit laws have been used in other states – including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Massachusetts – and have proven effective.  By providing a financial incentive for returning bottles, consumers are much less likely to throw their trash on the ground or in trash receptacles.  In addition, there is a profit to be made by the “unredeemed” deposits.  When containers are not returned to the distributor, the deposit for them is not collected by the consumer.  This uncollected sum amounts to millions of dollars each year and can be used by the state to fund further environmental or educational programs.  Ultimately this creates a win-win situation between the conservation of our environment and the state’s budget.

A “Bottle Bill” was presented to the Colorado House and Senate in 2011, but was denied.  Please sign the petition below to urge the Colorado Governor to take a second look at this bill.  We must let Governor John Hickenlooper know that preserving our environment is important to the people of Colorado and a container deposit law is necessary.


Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Approximately 50% of litter in the United States comes from beverage containers. Colorado citizens want to keep their state clean and environment healthy.  Many states have implemented container deposit laws which provide financial incentives to recycle and hold the consumer responsible for their packaging wastes.  Additionally, the state has the opportunity to make money on this program by collecting the unredeemed deposits that accumulate when consumers do not return their containers. In other states, this sum adds up to millions of dollars each year.

In 2011, a “Bottle Bill” was proposed to the Colorado state legislature, but was quickly denied.  I urge you to listen to the citizens of Colorado who want to preserve our beautiful state, and take a second look at this bill.  A “Bottle Bill” in Colorado would immensely help our environment by reducing waste and promoting recycling. It has worked to minimize litter and trash in other states and should be implemented in Colorado.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. This should be done through the bottlers, not the government. Re-usable bottles and recyclable cans should be recovered by the bottlers to reduce litter and enhance efficiency of the product. Government always finds a way to waste the funds; I’ll trust Pepsico or CocaCola before I’ll trust government!

  2. This was a good idea decades ago when it was just about glass bottles. Now, with aluminum and plastic containers, it’s also good for public health.

  3. Here in Britain there used to be a deposit on the glass bottles used for beer and fizzy children’s drinks. It worked well has you rarely saw a discarded bottle. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s when I was a child, most kids would go around looking for any bottles that had been dumped and take them to the local shop to claim a few pennies back to enhance their weekly spending money.
    The idea of a deposit was dropped in the late 1960’s when plastic bottles started to replace glass ones. If a large refundable deposit (say about 50%) was charged on all glass and plastic bottles, I am sure we would immediately see a massive reduction in the amount of glass and plastic bottles littering our streets and going to land fill sites.
    The same could be done with other types of plastic packaging such as take-away food containers, vegetable oil bottles and carrier bags.

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64 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
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  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Richard Ohlendorf
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