OGA Joins Industry in Opposition to Proposed “Bottle Bill”
Last Friday, OGA joined the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and the Ohio Restaurant Association to publicly oppose a proposed constitutional amendment creating a “bottle bill” in Ohio. As OGA President & CEO stated “The ‘container bill’ proposal is counter-productive to the recycling and sustainability efforts already underway by businesses across the Buckeye state. The Ohio Grocers Association is vehemently opposed to this and similar absurd public policy proposals which burdens businesses, consumers and provides no proven value to recycling efforts. The average supermarket has over 40,000 items, meaning 90% of the items in the grocery aisle would likely be subject to this additional new fee. If enacted, food bills would increase dramatically at a time when Ohioans can least afford it. “The proposal would impose a 5 to 10 cent deposit on “all closed glass, metal and plastic containers” and fines up to $100,000 for non-compliance. You can read the full language here. The phrase “bottle bill” is issued lightly because in reality it would covers thousands of other items sold in Ohio stores. After collecting the necessary 1,000 signatures, the proposal was certified by the Attorney General and last Friday approved as a single issue to place the matter on a statewide ballot. In order for the language to be placed on the ballot, the effort would need to collect signatures from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties and the number of signatures in each of those 44 counties must be equal to at least 5 percent of the vote cast there in the last gubernatorial election which is roughly 385,000 valid signatures. Although it remains unclear and frankly unlikely as to whether this goal is obtainable, OGA will continue to remain vigilant in its effort to defeat this proposal.