Environment: Containing Litter

The returnable beverage bottle has become a sort of industrial relic. So has that once hallowed implement to puncture beer cans, the "church key." But their more convenient replacements—the no-deposit, no-return bottle and the pull-tab can—are now too much in evidence. Americans annually gulp the contents of some 40 billion bottles and 50 billion cans. The one-time-only use results in massive littering.

In an effort to stem the litter-tide, Oregon last October became the first state to ban all no-deposit, no-return bottles, and cans with pop tops. Oregonians must now pay a 2¢ to 10¢ deposit on beer and soft-drink containers. A...

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