It's the Environment, Stupid.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Better Bottle Bill

3r living's Mark Caserta took a trip to Albany this week to help fight for a bigger, better bottle bill, which aims to get more bottles recycled by changing up the current policy.

According to NYPIRG, the new bottle bill would
  • expand New York's Bottle Bill to include deposits on non-carbonated beverages, such as bottled water, iced tea, juice and sports drinks; and,
  • require the beverage industry to return all unclaimed deposits to the state to fund municipal recycling and waste prevention programs.
Of course the bill is not without its critics - here's Mark's response to some of the most popular critiques:
We don't need the bottle bill at all, now that we have municipal recycling.

FALSE In truth, many municipalities don’t have recycling and 80-90% of non-deposit bottles end up in the trash where we, the taxpayers, pay for their disposal. The industry has gone so far as to introduce a bill to repeal the current bottle bill, which would put even more strain on our publicly-run trash pickup. Many Assemblymembers are considering this bill over the expanded bottle bill, a troublesome development.

Expanding the Bottle Bill will bring more rats and roaches to grocery stores who have to store the bottles.
FALSE In truth, the bill allows store owners to refuse dirty bottles. In addition, 60% of the bottles covered under the BBBB will be clean spring water bottles.

Expanding the Bottle Bill will hurt consumers.
FALSE At most, pennies per bottle will be passed onto consumers and the deposit would be returned when the bottles are redeemed. Unclaimed deposits would go to public programs aimed at improving the environment rather than the bottling industry (which is currently keeping the deposits).

The current bottle bill is of course a well intentioned policy with incentives that just didn't play out effectively. Hopefully this better bill will pass and do what it intends to do - get more bottles recycled.

Read Mark's full posting.


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