If we look at the United States, then 12.3+ deposit/returnable containers/mile x 161,400 miles* of USA highways = 2 MILLION deposit, returnable containers on the nation's highways or at $0.05/container x 2 MILLION returned deposite/containers = $100,000 nationwide. Not a quite the Federal Stimulus Package, but still a significant piece of change!
But what about all of those non-deposit containers such as bottled water, sports drinks that I would estimate would increase the above total by 40% or 2.7 MILLION containers along our nations' highways?
Yow! ... and that does not include the cigarette packages, jumbo plastic and styrofoam plastic drink containers, plastic bags, random fast food paper/plastic/tin foiled products, and other items I have to assume are intentionally dumped by passing vehicles. And all of these items are what I call "15 minute items" or things that you buy and discard after 15 minutes. They are certainly not examples of American manufacturing at it's best!
*Highway mileage source: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hs01/hm41.htm
So as a good American in these depressed economic times, my government is encouraging me to spend and stimulate our economy? Sorry, I am inclined to save the money and make selective purchases of durable, essential, non-luxury, recyclable items that promote good EARTH stewardship.
Some other thoughts that I have:
- There is a considerable amount of drinking and driving taking place on our highways.
- What if ALL containers required a $1.00 deposit instead of a $0.05 deposit? How would that change "the picture" shown above?
- I would vote to pass the proposed "Bigger Better Bottle" bill now before our state legislature. I have already voiced my opinion with Assemblyman Bob Oaks and State Senator Michael Nozzolio
- Personally we have saved about $30 on are grocery bill since January 1st.
- What if communities began to organize/contract regional community members to voluntarily walk and clean their local roads sides? The benefits: a cleaner community; a raised public awareness of maintaining a better environment; improved cardio-vascular fittness; ... all at no cost to the community.