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Newton, Needham, Watertown, Wellesley

Chamber urges support of expanded bottle bill

Chamber urges support of expanded bottle bill

Greg Reibman, president of Charles River Regional Chamber testified before the Joint

Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy in support of S2104 and

H3676, an Act to expand the bottle bill on June 28, 2023.

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman

My name is Greg Reibman, president of the Charles River Regional Chamber

representing Newton, Needham, Watertown and Wellesley.

I’m speaking today in support of expanding the bottle bill to include noncarbonated

beverages but not for the reason that many of our friends in the environmental circles

are supporting it.

We’re supporting -- not because we appreciate the harm plastics create although we

acknowledge the harm -- but in support of small business owners.

We’re supporting this particularly in support of our small independent restaurant owners

in communities that are losing out, or risk losing out, on the sale of single serving water

bottles in the growing number of communities where plastic water bottles are now


Bottled water sales typically have the highest markup of any item on the menu at our

fast casual restaurants – think of your local pizza shop, burrito shop, sandwich shop,


Banning the sale single use water bottles can mean a loss of thousands of dollars in

revenue – sometimes many, many thousands – for these small independent merchants

who continue to battle the high costs of labor, inflation, rents, etc.

It’s our hope that adding a deposit to non-carbonated beverages will increase the

likelihood that these containers are recycled, rather than tossed in the trash or onto our


It’s also our hope that adding a deposit to non-carbonated beverages would curtail

efforts by our cities and towns to ban plastic water bottle sales which is critical source of

income for many of our independent restaurants and other business.

We urge the committee to give this bill a favorable report.

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