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February 25, 2007

News 10 Now

Bigger Better Bottle Bill
Web Staff

Laura Haight
Laura Haight

You may be able throw your empty water and tea bottles in the next time you collect on your soda can deposits.

A group in Albany is pushing the state to expand the deposit program with the Bigger Better Bottle Bill.

For weeks, the group has been petitioning with environmental, farm, and labor leaders to rally support. Advocates say it will bring the state up to date with consumer drink choices by adding deposits to bottled water, teas, and sports drinks. They say it'll also increase recycling.

According to NYPIRG, about 80 percent of beer and soft drink containers are recycled mainly because people get money back, but only 20 percent of non-deposit bottles are recycled.

They say you might be surprised when you hear where the unclaimed deposits wind up.

“Most people don't know this, but when they don't return their container, the beer and soda companies keep those nickels. And because of the volume, it's a lot of money. We're talking about 85 to 140 million dollars a year,” NYPPRG Environmental Associate Laura Haight said.

As part of the proposed bill, those deposits would be pumped into environmental improvement programs.

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