Friday, April 19, 2024

My household, like many others in Cambridge, appreciate the city’s extensive recycling program and feel good about being able to recycle our water bottles. While we may be able to recycle our water bottles at home, though, not every recycling program includes these types of bottles. In fact, only 42 percent of beverage containers in Massachusetts are included in the state’s bottle bill.

We all know about the plastic pollution problem – we’ve seen the pictures of sea animals with plastics stuck to them and the documentaries that make this problem seem impossible to solve.

But according to the state Department of Environmental Protection, “there’s no other recycling program that has achieved the same rates as deposit systems,” and that’s why the bottle bill needs to be updated to include containers such as water bottles that didn’t exist when it was passed in the 1980s. We can do this with the Better Bottle Bill sponsored by state Sen. Cynthia Creem and state Rep. Marjorie Decker. I want to thank my legislators, state Sen. Sal DiDomenico and state Rep. Mike Connolly for co-sponsoring this important bill, and I urge other state legislators to do the same and address the plastics problem in Massachusetts.

Brianna Blastick, East Cambridge

The writer is a campus organizer with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.