Environmental and good government groups are calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers to update New York’s bottle bill.
They’ve asked Hochul to advocate for expanding the current law to include more types of bottles and increase the refundable deposit to 10 cents. The current law, enacted in 1982, requires a 5 cent refundable deposit on certain bottles and cans. It does not include bottles for non-carbonated drinks like iced teas and wine.
“The only difference is that this soda container is carbonated and this iced tea is not carbonated,” said Judith Enck, a former EPA Region 2 administrator. “Well the environment doesn’t care whether it’s carbonated or not.”
Advocates also want money directed to increasing the number of redemption centers across the state in currently underserved areas.
More than 100 environmental and community groups sent a letter to Hochul about urging her to support the changes.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the bottle bill has reduced roadside litter by 70% and helped recycle 5.5 billion plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers in 2020.