Doug Bandow's recent diatribe against the local bottle bill initiative {Close to Home, Oct. 11} closely parallels the propaganda being spread across this city by the beverage and can industry to defeat Initiative No. 28.

Mr. Bandow asserts, with no evidence, that "naturally, prices would rise" with a bottle bill. However, a recent survey of the D.C. liquor stores that sell returnables indicates that beer sold in returnable bottles is currently cheaper than throwaways. And objective studies from states in which bottle bills have been in effect do not find price increases attributable to bottle bills. (Of course, beverage prices can rise if bottling executives engage in price-fixing as Pepsi and Coke are recently alleged to have done, but one can hardly attribute such behavior to bottle bills.)

Mr. Bandow also claims that bottle bills are "ineffective," but his evidence is that bottle bills don't curb other sorts of trash -- newsletters, for example. Of course, no one argues that a bottle bill will solve the entire solid waste crisis in this country, but the most important fact about the bottle bill is that it works. Bottle bills have been extremely effective in the nine states that have tried them, and they have been enormously popular.

Bottle bills do what they are intended to do: eliminate about 80 percent of bottle and can litter, reduce injuries from broken glass, create jobs in the recycling industry and save taxpayer money. It's time for the voters of the District to look beyond the propaganda and support Initiative No. 28 so we can have a cleaner and safer city.

GENE KARPINSKI Executive Director U.S. Public Interest Research Group Washington