Over the past few years, it’s become increasingly clear that the planet is hurting under humanity’s reign. Governments from all over the globe have started taking steps to reduce environmental pollution, and for many of them, this has included recycling non-biodegradable materials like glass and plastic or banning their use outright. Not only does this reduce the impact on the environment, but it prevents the manufacture of more of these materials when they’re recycled.
In the U.S., a pair of Senators have introduced a new bill that would promote recycling beverage containers, and here’s the kicker, it explicitly stated that marijuana and hemp drink bottles are one of the few qualifying categories.
Titled the ‘Original Recycling (OR) Bottle Act‘, it was filed by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and modeled after similar legislation enacted in Oregon. The bill would require that beverage bottles and cans be eligible for recycling after use by consumers and that they receive a minimum refund after returning the bottles and cans to stores.
The bill states that drinks ‘containing marijuana and hemp’ as one of the five qualifying categories of beverages as well as water, carbonated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and “all other non-alcoholic beverages (excluding dairy milk and plant-based milk, infant formula and liquid milk replacements).”
Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, but its inclusion in the new bill shows that government officials recognize the growing cannabis sector and that it may be legalized down the line.
“Senators Wyden and Merkley both have the foresight to know that we need to think without a prohibition mentality when it comes to dynamic policy solutions to other problems in our world,” says Justin Strekal, Political Director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
“Normalization of marijuana reform demands that we incorporate this whole new legal industry into the context of escalating the ecological urgency of addressing climate change.”
The bill requires retailers to pay at least 10 cents per beverage container to their distributors. Consumers would cover that value when purchasing drinks, and they’ll be entitled to a refund once they return their bottles or can to a store. Distributors would then collect all the containers and pay back the minimum value back to the retailer.
“By taking the Oregon way nationwide, this legislation will do more than sweep the garbage under the rug. It will ensure an all hands on deck effort to clean out roadsides, beaches, and rivers to protect the health of our planet and families,” says Senator Wyden.
“An America with the creativity to invent a million uses for plastic has the creativity to design better alternatives. Our kids’ health and futures depend on America solving this problem.”
It is widely believed that this initiative to include cannabis bottles in the recycling program has the full support of industry players like Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE: SHRM) who have always believed that the cannabis plant holds solutions to some of the climate change issues facing the planet today.
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