March 1, 2010
Letter to the Editor
Reusing bottles the clear solutionEvery word in Laura Haight's Feb. 16 letter, "How bottle bill boosts revenue," is true. But the letter misses an important point.
If a bank account is abandoned (no deposits or withdrawals for five years and mailings to the address of record are returned marked "unknown"), the money is turned over to the state. Better for it to go to some public purposes than for the banks to pocket it. But as we all know, the purpose of bank accounts is not to provide state revenue.
The same rationale applies to deposits on beverage containers. State revenue is only an incidental benefit of the deposits. The real purpose is to make sure that nearly all bottles are returned to stores or redemption centers to be recycled for now and, better yet, to be reused.
When bottlers finally see the light and reintroduce refillable bottles, they will get them back to sterilize and reuse multiple times. Reuse will conserve even more energy and resources, slow climate change and save the consumer money.
New York needs to raise the deposit (which is no higher today than on quart bottles in 1945) and enact other incentives to encourage refillables. We can offer suggestions.
Russell Patton Jr.
Social Concerns Commission
Church of the Covenant