The Free Market, No-Tax Rebate Program
Remember when kids collected bottles and cans for cash?
Now we can do it for plastic.
States from Iowa to Maine have successfully implemented a free market, no-tax solution to plastic waste and litter: A Rebate Program that has produced extraordinary results over the years.
How It Works
■ A deposit is collected in the form of a 1 penny charge added onto some non-alcoholic drinks and grocery bags.
■ This tiny charge covers the collection cost, the recycling fees, enforcement & administrative costs, and the 25¢ rebate per pound of plastic returned!
■ The genius of a rebate program is that you can get much more than your money back–25¢ per pound of returned plastic.
■ Voluntary, free market program with no tax increase at all!
In states where a similar rebate program has been implemented, reverse vending machines at grocery or convenience stores return a cash rebate for deposited drink containers. You simply keep the bottles you use during the week and, on your next grocery trip, drop off the waste for some extra cash.
If you don't want to return your plastic, consider donating it or use your current recycling or waste container. The free market incentives of this program are projected to increase recycling rates 6 times over and will reduce the overall consumption and plastic waste in our overflowing landfills with NO tax increase at all.
Without a doubt, waste and limited landfills are a real and increasing problem for Texas. The rebate program is a tested, viable solution to this problem. Many common concerns with this solution center around the cost, a change in lifestyle, and whether it will actually work.
■ A cash rebate for everyone who participates. That’s extra money for kids, people without homes, or anyone who helps clean up Texas. We could all use a little extra pay!
■ The low-cost, voluntary program pays for itself. The money deposited stays within the program much like a bank and covers the cost of the program while paying you to participate.
■ Puts consumer free-choice first and completely avoids product bans or mandates that hurt businesses.
■ It keeps Texas beautiful by reducing litter on our streets and also better protects wildlife in our waterways, lakes, and oceans.
■ Opens up the new possibility of recycling in communities across Texas that have struggled to do so in the past.
■ It works in other states. In other rebate states, participation rates are between 67% and 97%, meaning people have almost universally adopted getting paid back. And there were no changes to the variety of purchasing options at the grocery store.
■ Finally, studies have shown litter decreases as there is a free market monetary incentive to return the litter to easy-to-reach rebate machines–with NO tax increase.