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The Boston Globe

Metro

Updated bottle law pushed as way to cut litter

Adding water to redeemable list would cut litter, advocates say

It’s an ironic routine that plays out nearly every day on streets throughout the state, in which a law designed to reduce litter ends up producing it.

Because the state’s bottle law has not been updated in more than 30 years to allow noncarbonated beverages to be redeemed for a nickel, as it allows for soda, beer, and malt beverages, the legion of trash pickers who make their rounds to collect bottles and cans often toss the bottled water, Gatorade, and other containers not covered by the law into the street.

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