Maryland Legislators Announce Recycle for Real Bill

Published January 14, 2013

National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli with Sen. Bill Ferguson, Del. Maggie McIntosh and Del. John A. Olszewski after their announcement of Recycle for Real.

National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli with Sen. Bill Ferguson, Del. Maggie McIntosh, and Del. John A. Olszewski after their announcement of Recycle for Real.

Delegate Maggie McIntosh, Chair of the House Environmental Matters Committee, Delegate John Olszewski, and Senator Bill Ferguson today announced Recycle For Real™, a legislative initiative to boost Maryland’s recycling rates. The bill aims to create a “fully refundable 5-cent beverage container deposit that will provide a financial incentive for Marylanders to redeem and reuse the billions of beverage containers sold in the state each year,” according to the press release.

Revenue from unredeemed beverage containers would go to benefit statewide environmental programs as well as recycling programs in Maryland counties and Baltimore City.

Maryland’s recycling rate is currently a dismal 22 percent – the majority of the approximately four billion beverage containers used every year find their way into Maryland’s landfills, highways, the Inner Harbor, and all around the Chesapeake Bay.

Plastic pollution has gotten out of hand in our local waters! Photo via Chesapeake Bay Program

Plastic pollution has gotten out of hand in our local waters! Photo via Chesapeake Bay Program

If passed by the Maryland General Assembly, Recycle For Real™ has the potential to increase the state’s beverage container recycling rate to 75 percent. Maryland would join 10 other states currently operating deposit programs and have an average recycling rate of 76 percent.

National Aquarium’s Government Affairs team will be working with the sponsors of Recycle For Real™ and other conservation groups over the next few months in Annapolis to make sure this initiative is successful.

Stay tuned for more updates on Recycle for Real™ and other important local conservation initiatives. 

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