Friends of the Blue Hills supports updating the Bottle Bill, as described below by Barbara Phinney and Tucker Smith.  We still need 22,000 signatures to make sure this initiative will be placed on the ballot in November.  If you live in Milton, signing a petition is easy.  Just stop by the Milton Public Library on the dates below.  If you don’t live in Milton but would like the forms to sign or to collect signatures, just contact Barbara Phinney ( and she’ll make sure you have the proper forms.

Updating the Bottle Bill
By Barbara Phinney and Tucker Smith

It’s a fact: our Commonwealth’s current Bottle Bill, dating back to 1982, is the state’s most successful litter prevention program: carbonated beverages bearing a 5-cent deposit are redeemed/ recycled at a rate exceeding 80%.  Unfortunately, many of today’s most popular beverages — bottled water, tea, juice, and sports drinks — didn’t exist back then and are not part of the nickel deposit program.  Only about 24% of these items are recycled so, if you are a walker, jogger, hiker, beach-goer, public transit commuter, boater, or playground parent/grandparent, you will know that these containers comprise most of the offensive litter we see all around us. It’s not only an aesthetic eyesore but an environmental hazard as these mostly PET plastic bottles never disintegrate completely.  We citizens can do something to change this!

Please consider signing the final petition required to place updating the Bottle Bill on this November’s ballot.  About 22,000 signatures from registered Massachusetts voters must be collected before June 7 to do this.  Here in Milton there will be four “drive through” dates to sign the petition.  Simply drive to Milton Public Library on  Fridays, May 16 or June 6 (2-5:30 p.m.) or Mondays, May 19 or June 2 (2-6 p.m.).  Milton Garden Club volunteers with clipboards will be curbside to gather your signature.

Contrary to some thinking, the 5-cent deposit is not a consumer tax but, rather, an incentive to recycle and is 100% refundable upon redemption.  Updating the Bottle Bill this November makes sense in environmental, economic, energy, and aesthetic ways. Please add our drive-through petition dates to your calendar, your cell phone or post a note on your fridge!  And then, come November, get to the polls and VOTE to update the Bottle Bill.  Other states are watching us (so is the beverage/bottling industry), and future generations will thank us so… drive through and sign on!

Barbara Phinney and Tucker Smith
Milton Garden Club (member, Garden Club of America), Conservation Co-Chairmen
Mass. Sierra Club, Bottle Bill volunteers