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October 27, 2009

Press Release

For more information contact: Jonathan Pierce, 518-427-1186/518-221-1186

Water Deposit Date Postponed

ALBANY, NY (10/27/2009)(readMedia)-- The Food Industry Alliance of New York State (FIA), a trade association representing retail grocery stores, today announced that New York State has agreed to give retailers until November 8, 2009 to begin collecting nickel deposits on water containers.

Federal District Court Judge Deborah Batts ruled last Friday that the injunction postponing the effective date for adding water deposits to the Bottle Law would be lifted as of October 31st. "Since the Judge's ruling was not handed down until 4:00 p.m. on a Friday, many retailers did not receive the news until Monday morning," said James Rogers, President and CEO of the Food Industry Alliance. "Less than a week was not enough time for New York's 21,000 food stores to come into compliance." said Rogers.

To add water bottle to the bottle law, food stores must reprogram every cash register to account for the nickel deposit and then reprogram every reverse vending machine (RVM) to begin accepting returns. "There are simply not enough technicians available to reprogram every cash register and every RVM by October 31st," stated Rogers. Another problem for retailers is that, for a number of brands, stores do not yet have properly labeled products on their shelves or in their warehouses.

"The state agreed that an orderly phase-in was preferable to a rushed start-up date." said Rogers. "Retailers will begin collecting deposits and accepting returns as soon as their equipment can be upgraded. We expect to see a rolling phase-in beginning November 1st as soon as newly labeled product is delivered to stores and equipment can be reprogrammed, but the process will be completed by November 8th at the latest."

Under the expanded bottle law, nickel deposits will be added to any glass, metal or plastic container holding less than one gallon or 3.78 liters of water, flavored water or nutritionally enhanced water that contains zero grams of sugar on its nutritional label.

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The Food Industry Alliance of New York State is the only statewide trade association representing the interests of supermarket chains, independent food stores and grocery wholesalers. The membership is comprised of nearly 1,000 corporate members and represenst tens of thousands of employees throughout New York State.


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