Don’t mess with Texas. As Texans we take our land and the quality of that land seriously. We don’t want our views of the bluebonnet-covered hills interrupted by littered bags, bottles and other garbage. Litter is a problem, however, the recurring bottle tax solution is not the answer.
Bottle tax laws attempt to be the catchall solution of the litter problem, however, bottle tax laws are generally outdated, costly, inefficient and counterproductive. Additionally, bottle tax programs in other states have yielded disappointing results causing states like Delaware to repeal bottle taxes in favor of more comprehensive recycling programs. In California, the state is losing millions of dollars to recycling fraud from people redeeming cans purchased in other states. In fact only one state, Hawaii, has adopted a bottle tax law in the last 23 years.
We are concerned with the impact littering has on our environment but bottle taxes show disappointing environmental benefits. Beverage containers of all types average 7.4 percent of litter, so a deposit program ignores 93 percent of the problem it is trying to solve.
We believe that by improving existing recycling programs we can grow the positive impact we have on recycling and litter in our state. We can make current programs more effective by making recycling even easier, offering more incentives and creating a more efficient process that includes all recyclables. The Texas Beverage Association would welcome the opportunity to work with the state and other stakeholders to determine innovative and effective approaches to this problem.
We believe we can do better than just creating another new tax.