Florida senator proposes 20- to 30-cent deposit on bottles and cans

In an effort to reduce litter and increase recycling, two bills moving through the Florida House and Senate are proposing a 20 to 30-cent deposit on all bottles and cans between 6 fluid ounces and a gallon. Also, since bottles and cans are often returned to the point of sale, retailers would get a 20 percent cut, which would help with the storing and sorting of recyclables.

"It's an easy and effective way to get trash out of our streams and lakes," said Sen. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, who introduced the Senate bill, to the Tampa Bay Times. "Instead of piling up in landfills, it gets recycled."

If House Bill 853 and Senate Bill 672 go through, Florida would join 10 other states that currently have similar deposit laws, though most are around the 5-cent to 10-cent range. Studies have shown that states with more costly deposits see a much higher return rate for recycled bottle and cans. For example, Michigan has a 10-cent deposit, and they witnessed a 95 percent return rate from 2000 to 2011, and in 2008 the state returned over $407 million in deposits.

However, with a Republican-owned legislature there's a slim chance the bills will ever get passed. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn't try to drive north with a mail truck full of cans.

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