By Frank Lewis
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Thursday rejected the petition for the proposed “Bottle Bill for Ohio” because the petitioners did not submit the minimum valid signatures required.
“Bottle Bill for Ohio,” would allow Ohio residents to receive 5-10 cents refundable deposit on all glass, metal, or plastic soft drink, beer and malt beverage container sold in Ohio. The refund value and the letters “Oh” would be clearly marked on each container. Other containers would include, but not be limited to, milk, mayonnaise, mustard, jelly, ketchup, shampoo, conditioner and lotions.
On March 17, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition from the petitioners to amend the Ohio Revised Code by initiated statute. DeWine said the single submitted petition had two defects which mandate the petition’s rejection. First, the petition lacked a signed circulator statement as required by law. Second, the single petition contained signatures from residents of 18 counties, instead of the required submission of part-petitions which only contain signatures from one county on each part-petition.
“Because of these two fatal errors, you did not submit the required 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio electors,” DeWine said in his letter rejecting the petition. “As a result, I am unable to proceed to a determination on whether the summary you submitted is a fair and truthful summation of the matter you submitted.”
A group of Cleveland residents submitted the petition for the “Bottle Bill,” and according to the Campaign for Recycling, container recycling laws, or bottle bills, drastically increase the recycling of single-use containers, which decrease the amount of waste going into landfills or being littered, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Container recycling laws also strengthen curbside recycling.
Bottle bill opponents include beverage container manufacturers, soft drink bottlers, beer, wine and liquor distributors and retail grocers. As ‘new age’ drink containers are targeted for inclusion in existing bottle bills, juice, sports drink and bottled water manufacturers have joined the anti-bottle bill forces. A new group of bottle bill opponents that has emerged in recent years consists of waste haulers and owners of materials recovery facilities who want the revenue from the valuable aluminum cans that are recovered through bottle bills.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.