February 11, 2009
NY Bottle Bill Expansion Sparks Debate
Recycling advocacy groups met recently to push a bill to expand the five-cent bottle deposit to include non-carbonated beverages and sports drinks. The groups say it will bring in more revenue than New York state anticipated, but some lawmakers and industry representatives remain skeptical, Star-Gazette reports.
The groups say expanding the bill would bring in more than $218 million in revenue for the state, compared to the $118 million originally projected by New York Governor David Paterson’s Budget Division.
However, some key lawmakers are unconvinced.
Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Nassau County, said he is concerned the money from unclaimed deposits could be unstable in the future, since it is unclear how much people will continue to recycle.
The Business Council of New York State opposes the bill because the council sees it as “just an additional tax on New York state manufacturers, bottlers, distributors and ultimately consumers,” said Spokesman Michael Moran.
Last December, Paterson signed a legislation that will require many retail stores to recycle plastic carry-out bags or face fines.
Earlier this month, Virginia pulled out a proposed bag ban at the request of plastics industry representatives.