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Statement of the Yes on 2 Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill

November 4, 2014

The leaders of the Yes on 2 campaign expressed their disappointment in the outcome of Tuesday’s election, while recommitting to advancing the causes of environmental protection and recycling in Massachusetts.

“We might have lost the vote on Question 2 today, and we will look closely at what we could have done better, to be more effective as we move forward. But let’s be clear about what happened, ” said Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG, one of the groups on the steering committee of Yes on 2. “The No on 2 campaign wasn’t stupid. They presented their side as pro-environment and pro-recycling because they understand that Massachusetts voters want more recycling, not less. That was the goal behind Question 2 and it remains our goal moving forward.”

Phil Sego, of the Sierra Club of Massachusetts, challenged the No on 2 campaign. “The big beverage lobby spent more than $9 million to win,” Sego said, referring to the American Beverage Association, a Washington D.C.,-based trade association which funded most of the “no” side. “Today, we’re challenging the industry: Show Massachusetts that the concern you expressed for our environment and recycling wasn’t just an election-year ad ploy. Commit to taking responsibility for the containers you sell in our state – especially when it comes to on-the-go beverages like bottled water.”

Recent figures from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) show that 80 percent of containers with a deposit are recycled, while only 23 percent of non-refundable containers—like water bottles and sports drinks—are recycled. The rest of become litter or trash.

“We’re disappointed in the results today, but we are so proud that so many citizens took part in our campaign,” added Jack Clarke of the Mass Audubon Society. “Our democracy is stronger because of their actions and we know that their energy and commitment will produce better results for our environment in the years to come.”

“It’s unfortunate, but big money in politics can drown out other voices,” said Anne Borg, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. “The Yes on 2 volunteers did all they could, but it’s tough to compete with $9 million in ads. It’s time to get the money out of our political process.”

Yes on 2 was endorsed by dozens of state and local environmental and civic organizations, including the Appalachian Mountain Club, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, the Environmental League of MA, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and many more. Gov. Deval Patrick, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, and many more elected officials were endorsers of the campaign.