May 8, 2007
Bigger, Better Bottle Bill clears hurdle
* The Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee passed the so-called "Bigger Better Bottle Bill" out of committee on Tuesday.
Republican members, who hold a minority of seats on the committee, voted as a block against the bill, said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro.
Republicans are concerned the bill may be expensive and impractical for companies that distribute juice products, Sayward said.
Soft drink companies can transport returned bottles on the same trucks that make deliveries, she said. But dairies, which also sell juice products, are not allowed to mix product and returned containers on the same vehicle.
The proposed legislation would expand the existing state bottle redemption law to include beverages such as bottled water, iced tea and juices.
A coalition of environmental groups issued a press release Tuesday urging the Assembly and Senate to pass the law.
Sayward said she does not expect the bill will pass this session.
"My belief is it will not go anywhere this year, and we'll be back next year looking for a forum where we can pass it," she said.