Container taxes target the beverage industry, but can damage the environment. By forcing deposits of beverage containers, a community ends up focusing on a narrow part of the waste stream, offering little overall environmental gain.
Container taxes cause consumers to make special trips to deposit centers to redeem their empty containers, thus leading to further fuel consumption and wasted energy. Redemption systems are also costly to operate, and consumers ultimately bear the costs of these systems through higher prices for beverages and other groceries.
Community recycling programs also suffer, losing revenue from valuable aluminum cans and PET bottles, which then hurts a community’s recycling economics, leading to more inefficient collection.