Governor Cuomo proposes to expand plastic bottle deposits

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Governor Cuomo wants to expand the “Bottle Bill” to include deposits on bottles such as sports drinks and teas, but the New York State Association of Counties said it’s glass bottles that need to be incorporated into the legislation.

“The problem is that those plastics right now have a secondary market,” explained Stephen Acquario, NYSAC Executive Director.” Municipalities who are recycling these products are selling them for recycling purposes. So if he puts a deposit on those, then it takes it out of the recycling stream and we lose money.”

Money, he said, is essential to municipalities especially since China’s National Sword policy has negatively impacted the sales revenue of recycled newspapers and magazines in the US.

“By taking out plastics from the recycling stream, we are losing out on over $10 million dollars in our state. That’s a big deal in our communities,” said Acquario.

Instead, he says the state should expand the bill to incorporate deposits on wine, hard cider, liquor, and non-alcoholic beverages in glass bottles.

“Glass is the problem. We need to get glass out of the municipal recycling stream because what it’s doing is that it’s contaminating other products such as cardboard. It’s jamming up the machines and that’s what we need to put the effort on,” said Acquario.

NYPIRG’s Liz Moran, stated that NYPIRG would also like the Governor to add glass bottles to the bill, but is in favor of the governor’s current proposal to expand plastic bottle deposits.

“The ‘bottle bill’ is a great way to encourage consumers to recycle that stuff,” said Moran.”Right now, consumers get confused. You go to a grocery store to return your soda bottles, but you can’t return your Gatorade. This would reduce that confusion.”

The “Bottle Bill” expansion is apart of Governor Cuomo’s  2019 Executive Budget Proposal.

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