I\u2019m so old that I actually covered the passage of the original Connecticut bottle bill in 1978, and what I mainly remember is lobbyists for every imaginable point on the continuum from the brewing of beer and soda to the bottling to the distribution to the retail sale to the eventual urinating of the product. All of the lobbyists predicted the collapse of the economy, the demise of organized religion, the rise of zombies, the increase in frequency and size of kidney stones and the gradual erosion of the backbone of America which apparently consists, at least partly, of the ability to drain a can or bottle into your mouth and then hurl that container aside with no thought to what might ever become of it. Those bad things did not happen, and there really was considerably less litter all over the place. Bottle bills exist in 10 states, and there\u2019s no question that they reduce litter and injuries from broken glass, as well as forcing the beverage industry to take responsibility for its solid waste. Sign up to get Colin\u2019s newsletter delivered to your inbox, for free States that have container deposits recycle 60 to 70 percent of those containers. Those without: 24 to 33 percent. So if you\u2019re reading this in Illinois, which a lot of people do, there\u2019s a reason your surroundings look so crappy. I personally do not return cans and bottles to claim deposit money. For many years my Significant Other was in charge of a program which involved keeping a few big black bags of those things in her car until she happened to spy, on the streets of Hartford, a person pushing a shopping cart or riding a bike while perilously balancing several similar big black bags full of empties. When approaching the person, she considered it important to say something like, \u201cCan you help me out here? Would you mind?\u201d before handing over her bags. Because you don\u2019t want to act like you think you\u2019re making that person\u2019s day with your refuse. A year ago, she got sick, and I took over the job. I couldn\u2019t be bothered to wait for serendipitous crossings of paths, so I found out where a lot of those guys redeem stuff. I just drive it over there find somebody at one of the redemption machines and ask that same question. \u201cCan you help me out?\u201d Considering that the person is already pushing empties into a redemption machine, I\u2019m pretty confident that he \u2014 it\u2019s almost always a man \u2014 isn\u2019t going to say it\u2019s too much trouble to do mine and keep the money. I\u2019m sure there are numerous possible ethical flaws with this practice. I\u2019m sure I will hear about them. I realize that a high percentage of these people have untreated drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, but I\u2019m also reasonably confident that giving them extra empty containers is not going to do anything but make their unfortunate lives slightly more easy. The deposits that are paid by consumers but never redeemed are \u2014 Connecticut \u2014 escheats and must be paid to the state by the distributors, who once upon a time were allowed to just keep them. We\u2019re talking tens of millions of dollars, so one thing you could do to help the state budget would be the fill your basement with empty seltzer cans and never redeem them.. That may already be happening because the rate of redeeming deposit containers has been falling. We\u2019re below 50 percent in Connecticut now. This cannot continue or we will turn into Illinois, which is overrun with cockroaches and goats. So in 2024, the deposit will increase from five cents to 10. And other kinds of bottles, including kombucha, will join the program starting in 2023, which gives you plenty of time to start or stop drinking kombucha, depending on how you feel about all this. I don\u2019t think you can hang the deposit increase on the guys I give my bags to. I don\u2019t think they were slacking off because the money wasn\u2019t great. But somebody is. Michigan and Oregon both increased their deposits to 10 cents, and their sagging redemption rates shot back up. Michigan\u2019s has been hovering around 89 to 91 percent ever since. Meanwhile, nips. Nips are those little shot-sized liquor bottles you see behind the register at package stores as well as covering 38 percent of the ground in public parks. I think we have to be honest and admit that most nips are purchased by fairly desperate alcoholics. I suppose some of them are bought by people tapering off or people who have never had a drink before and don\u2019t know if they\u2019ll like it or people who expect the world to end soon and don\u2019t want to be raptured up leaving behind bulging liquor cabinets. But there\u2019s probably a significant overlap between the guys I rendezvous with at the redemption machines and the guys who buy nips. Starting pretty much now, the nips will cost an extra 5 cents but there will be no way for the purchaser or anyone else to get that 5 cents back. Instead, it will go to the town government where the nip was bought. So the town can hire some people to pick up the nip bottles from its parks. There\u2019s some risk that the people hired will also be from that same group of people who redeem other bottles and buy nips. Which sets up a vicious cycle. But we have to try something, right? I mean, look at Illinois. Colin McEnroe\u2019s column appears every Sunday, his newsletter comes out every Thursday and you can hear his radio show every weekday on WNPR 90.5. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for his newsletter at http:\/\/bit.ly\/colinmcenroe.