Maryland Legislators Propose Beverage Rebate Program - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Maryland Legislators Propose Beverage Rebate Program

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MARYLAND - Maryland lawmakers have announced a proposal for a beverage container rebate program.

5 cents per every glass, aluminum and plastic bottle and can. That's how much of a deposit you'll have to pay on all disposable beverage containers. If you were to buy a 2 liter bottle of soda, you would have to pay 5 cents more for it, and if you were to buy a 12 pack of soda, you would have to pay an additional 5 cents for each can in the pack. So if you get a pack for $5, with this new proposed legislation, you would have to pay $5.60.If you want your money back, you'll have to return the cans or bottles to a redemption center in the community.

It's a push to increase the state's recycling rate from 22 percent to 75 percent. So what do business owners and consumers have to say about it? "I'm all for it. It's a wonderful idea. I hope it goes through," Phyllis Majors of Allen, Md said. "I'm a busy person and I don't have time to go recycle everything. I think it would be a little too much on top of everything else that were getting taxed for," Faith English of Salisbury said.

Tim Ramia, owner of Eagle Express Mart in Fruitland has already suffered from the Maryland alcohol tax increase. "My beer and wine sales have been down since then," he said.

Could this rebate program turn away even more customers?  "It could hurt it a little bit just due to the fact that things will cost more. But something like this will probably be worth it. I know 5 cents will add up for a lot of people, but if it increases the volume of recycling, as long as the state makes it easy to recycle the bottles, I'm fine with that. I think it's a good thing for the environment," Ramia said.

If you don't choose to recycle the cans and bottles, the money will go towards statewide and local environmental programs. The bill is set to be introduced later this month.

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