MIRA members have demanded we focus on removing the recycling of beverage containers subject to Michigan’s bottle deposit from stores. I’m writing today to tell you that not only has your association listened – at the direction of your board of directors, we’ve been laying the groundwork for bold and historic action.
You’re well aware the collection of cans and bottles in stores is unsanitary and costly. Under Michigan’s “Bottle Bill” recycling system, retailers and distributors bear a net cost of $105 million annually to collect and process the containers.
Further adding to systemic costs and inefficiency is the fact Michigan currently has two separate recycling systems – one for certain beverage containers and another for all other recyclable materials.
However, no matter what case we make for changing, adapting, or evolving the Bottle Bill, actually changing the law is an exceedingly difficult proposition. Because voters initiated the law back in 1976, it can only be changed by a three-fourths vote of the legislature (a rare occurrence on virtually any issue in a charged and partisan atmosphere).
MIRA has devised a solution that’s a win-win-win: A win for Michigan’s economy and job creation; a win for our environment; and a win for MIRA’s members.
MIRA is working with the Department of Environmental Quality and others to form a broad coalition and build strong bi-partisan support in the legislature to blend Michigan’s ‘dual track’ recycling systems into one comprehensive statewide recycling system. In many areas this will be accomplished via curbside recycling. In other areas it will be achieved via local drop-off recycling centers.
MIRA has commissioned a study that, among other data and analysis, gauges the economic impact of these recycling changes. The study has not been finalized and released yet, but I can say that the data shows moving to a comprehensive statewide recycling system will lower costs, increase revenue, create jobs, and have substantial multiplied economic impact. We will be relying on the study’s findings and recommendations to craft the details of the proposed policy solution.
MIRA members will receive exclusive advance information about the study prior to it being released to the public.
The task before us is great and the process will be difficult. We will be relying on the active participation of MIRA members make our coalition effort successful. Without you, the association and the coalition will not succeed.
Please click HERE to complete a short survey that will help us understand your willingness to participate with this effort and your capacity to contribute your time, talents, and/or resources to the cause.
I hope you will complete the survey,
Sincerely, Auday Arabo President and CEO Midwest Independent Retailers Association