Senate OK of bottle bill is step in right direction

Robert Hedlund, Republican of Weymouth, deserves our hearty thanks for finally getting a vote on the updated bottle bill in the Massachusetts Senate (“Bottle bill gains OK in Mass. Senate,” Metro, July 21). It has been stalled in the Legislature for 14 years despite widespread support.

According to MassPIRG, 77 percent of the public, 208 cities and towns, 350 small businesses, and a majority of legislators want the updated bottle bill to become law. With the Senate’s approval of the measure as an amendment to the jobs bill, we now rely on the conference committee from the House and Senate to keep the bill intact.

The updated bottle bill would include water, juice, and sports drink bottles as well as soda and beer as containers with a nickel deposit. We would all benefit from a cleaner environment, cities and towns would save money, and some industrious people would reap the reward of getting the refund from bottles that others throw away.

With so much more bottled water and juice being sold now compared to when the original bottle bill was enacted, it makes perfect sense to include them in containers requiring a deposit.