April 17, 2008
Bottle Bill Advocated In Albany
By Juliet Werner
The New York League of Conservation Voters, the nonpartisan voice for the state’s environmental community, is praising the Assembly, Senate and Governor’s Office for finalizing a state budget that prioritizes the environment in the face of economic challenges. But supporters of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, such as State Senator Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), are significantly less pleased with the budget’s outcome.
“While the final state budget does not include provisions for the expansion of the current bottle bill, I remained committed to advocating for action on the ‘Bigger Better Bottle Bill’ in the remaining months of this legislative session,” Padavan said. “Once enacted into law, the ‘Bigger Better Bottle Bill’ will greatly reduce litter in our communities by increasing awareness and promoting recycling efforts statewide. The legislation also provides essential fiscal support for environmental protection and conservation efforts to help ensure our children have a safe, clean and green environment today and for generations to come.”
The current Bottle Bill, which passed in 1982, requires a 5-cent refundable deposit on carbonated beverage containers for beer and soda, but excludes non-carbonated beverage containers.
A statewide litter survey, conducted last fall at 20 sites across the state, revealed although non-carbonated beverages make up less than 30 percent of the U.S. beverage market they accounted for 61 percent of the beverage container litter and 21 percent of the total litter collected.
The cleanups took place at beaches, college campuses, urban neighborhoods, parks, riverfronts, and at Queens’ Kissena Park and Dubos Point in Far Rockaway.
A NYPIRG senior environmental associate faulted the Senate for killing the Bill for the second year in a row.
“Their opposition is based on business concerns,” Haight said. “They just don’t want to take away money from their cronies…Needless to say I’m not exactly a happy camper about how it all went down.”
The State Budget did, however, increase the Environmental Protection Fund from $250 million to $255 million, allocate $95 million for state parks and renew a tax credit for users of biofuel of heating source.