Cleaner Iowa Poll: 84% of Iowans believe bottle bill has been good for the state

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 10:28 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) - Cleaner Iowa announced the results of the commissioned poll conducted by Selzer & Company on Iowa’s bottle bill, for the popularity of the deposit law.

Selzer said the recent poll it conducted shows eighty-four percent of active Iowa registered voters say the bottle bill has been good for the state with only twelve percent stating it has been bad.

“The bottle bill is still very popular, and most voters do not want to see it repealed. In fact, by over 6-1, Iowa voters prefer a candidate who supports keeping or expanding the bottle bill over one who seeks repeal,” said J. Ann Selzer, president and owner of Selzer & Company.

The law for a five-cent deposit for certain cans and bottles passed about 44 years ago when Governor Robert Ray signed Iowa’s bottle bill into law.

Selzer said over an estimated 50 billion deposit beverages have been redeemed for the nickel deposit, keeping our fields, waterways, and ditches clear of litter.

“The bottle bill has been good for our environment, has been good for our economy, and has been good for our state,” said Troy Willard, an owner of the Can Redemption Centers in eastern Iowa whose facilities handle over 100 million cans, glass, and plastic bottles annually. “The program remains overwhelmingly popular with Iowans, and it has not cost taxpayers one cent in over four decades. Countless civic and community organizations, schools, charities, and churches have used the bottle bill to raise money to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”

The poll also shows that Iowa voters prioritize convenience, Selzer’s study said. By almost 2-1, voters say stores that sell containers must accept returns.

“Convenience is the key to any successful container deposit system,” states Mick Barry, president of Mid America Recycling (Iowa’s largest recycling facility). “Iowa’s bottle bill has been the cornerstone of Iowa’s multi-faceted recycling processes due in large part to the ease of redemption. However, as stores defy the law and redemption centers close due to a very low handling fee, consumers lose their ability to redeem. We need to bolster the program by increasing the handing fee for points of redemption which will incentivize new redemption centers to open and pay retailers fairly for their redemption services.”

Seltzer said between Feb. 4 to 8 they conducted a poll of 814 active registered voters in the state of Iowa. A random sample was drawn from active records in the Iowa voter registration list.

The study also found that more Iowa voters support expanding the bill, Seltzer said. 86 percent were for adding additional places bottles and cans can be returned, 72 percent favored an increase in handling fees and 71 percent were for expanding the law to cover more beverage containers.

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