12-16-13 Boston, MA- With the Secretary of State’s office making it official, the Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill announced that its initiative petition qualified today with well over the required amount of signatures. The top signer of the petition, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “This is an important day for the City of Boston and for the entire Commonwealth. The passage of this bill will help clean up our neighborhoods, expand recycling, and save cities and towns money at a time when we need it the most.”
The Secretary of State’s office issued a letter saying the petition had garnered a total of 94,950 certified signatures, more than 35% of the required 68,911 to qualify. “While an initiative petition drive is never easy,” commented Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG, “collecting signatures for this bill, which is so widely supported by the public and so long delayed by the Legislature, felt like making a touchdown.”
The bill, which would place a five cent deposit on beverage containers like water, sports drinks, and iced teas, has been pending in the Legislature for approximately a decade. “So many people have called this bill a ‘no brainer’,” said Ryan Black of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, “because they all know what a big improvement this bill would be for our environment.”
The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, a key organization in the petition drive, deployed members all across the state. “This issue knows no boundaries,” said Lynn Wolbarst of Sharon. “Our League members in Amherst and Gloucester are as enthusiastic as those in Martha’s Vineyard.”
The petition drive succeeded with help from many local and state organizations, including the Environmental League of MA, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the West Boylston Solid Waste Action Team, among others.