Indiana bottle maker pushing for refund law

A central Indiana company that makes glass bottles and jars is urging state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring refundable deposits on beverages sold in recyclable bottles and cans.

Verallia North America senior vice president Stephen Segebarth told a joint meeting of the Indiana House and Senate environmental affairs committees on Monday that the bill would boost job creation by providing discarded glass or metal for companies that turn the waste into new products.

Verallia employs about 650 workers in Indiana at plants in Muncie and Dunkirk.

Segebarth said last May at the Indiana Recycling Coalition’s annual meeting in Indianapolis that a recycling plan for the state could change the industry.

Factories operated by Verallia, Anchor Glass and Owens-Illinois employ more than 1,600 people in the state. Their need for discarded glass, known as cullet, far exceeds all 700 million glass containers used in the state annually, Segebarth said.

Representatives of Indiana Farm Bureau and Richmond-based Perpetual Recycling Solutions also testified Tuesday in favor the bill that calls for a 5-cent or 10-cent refundable deposit on recyclable containers,The Star Press reported.

But grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores are among the bill's opponents.

Since 1986, Hawaii is the only state that's enacted a bottle-refund bill.

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