Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oz. of Prevention in Aluminum Can

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oz. of Prevention in Aluminum Can

Article excerpt

MAVIS JACKSON will never forget the date: June 25, 1993.

The day had been a warm one. Her youngest daughter, LaKeesha, 7, was jumping rope double Dutch with her older sisters and some other girls in front of their home on North Euclid Avenue.

Suddenly, LaKeesha's leg got caught up in the rope and she went sailing to the pavement. As she fell, her left hand caught the jagged edges of a broken, 40-ounce beer bottle.

"It was just horrible," said Jackson, who had been sitting on her front porch when the accident happened. "It looked like LaKeesha had been drenched in blood. I was so nervous and upset, I just scooped her up and we flew to the hospital."

After removing the broken glass, doctors stitched LaKeesha's hand and sent her home.

"I hate all of these bottles on the street," Jackson said. "They're nothing but hazards. I am so nervous when my daughters even go outside these days because I'm afraid they'll step on one or fall on one."

Although many St. Louisans may not have gone through what Jackson experienced, 40-ounce beer bottles have become a nuisance in much of St. Louis. The bottles are favored by people who want to buy a single beer. Current laws prohibit the sale of beer in single containers unless they are 32 ounces or larger.

But a bill unanimously recommended by a committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen proposes to change all that.

It would allow single containers of beer to be sold in 16-ounce sizes or larger, but would require all beer sold between the 16-ounce and 32-ounce sizes to be in aluminum cans.

Those buying the beer would be less likely to toss their containers on the ground when they're empty because recyclers pay for aluminum cans. Even if the cans were thrown on the ground, they wouldn't break, and could be picked up safely.

"If someone insists on going in and buying a single container of beer, they'll be drinking a less offensive product," said Bob Kraiberg, the city's excise commissioner.

St. Louis police Lt. Joe Richardson, who testified in favor of the measure Thursday, says the bill can't be passed soon enough.

"First of all, broken bottles lying in vacant lots and parking lots in neighborhoods often show a lack of pride or a breakdown of community values," he said. …

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