What is the purpose of Connecticut’s container deposit refund and recycling program?
This is part of a Connecticut state law designed to help the environment and local towns. It is designed to help address three problems:
- First, beverage containers have become the number one item found littered in Connecticut. When these containers make their way to beaches and the ocean, the plastic in particular harms wildlife.1 Deposit recycling programs have been proven to triple or even quadruple recycling rates and reduce beverage container litter2 – usually between 40-80% depending on how much each container is worth (the deposit value).3
- Second, the cost of recycling and trash has increased significantly for Connecticut towns. Some towns have seen their recycling costs go up 1,100%.4 Diverting cans and bottles to the deposit recycling system helps towns limit the burden of recycling and waste costs on taxes, because the deposit system is paid for by beverage companies, not the public.
- And third, Connecticut burns much of its waste which helps create electricity – but also is harmful for the climate and causes health risks for surrounding communities. Finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle helps Connecticut limit the number of these facilities in operation.
The law is changing because Connecticut’s deposit recycling law hasn’t been updated significantly since it was started in 1980 and beverage container recycling rates are down (from 88% in 2000 to 46 in 2021).5
So, Connecticut passed a new law to make more beverages like sports drinks and juice eligible for a deposit refund – and in 2024 the deposit will increase from five cents to a dime. When Oregon raised it’s deposit from five to ten cents it raised the beverage container recycling rate from 64% to 86 in three years.6