Bigger And Getting Better, Bottle Bill To Expand If NY Budget Passes
It may not be the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill envisioned and fought for lo these many years by community, consumer and environmental groups, but the NYS Legislature is finally poised to pass legislation, as part of the almost agreed upon budget, that would mandate deposits on water bottles, making these non-biodegradable plastic containers returnable, and thus, less likely to turn up alongside highways, on our beaches (sans notes within), and in landfills.
Although opposed for years by the then Republican-controlled NYS Senate (its not that they didn't care about either consumer or environment. Its that they like what the special interest lobbiests have to offer more), with the Dems holding a slim majority, a watered-down version of the Bottle Bill is likely going to land on Governor Paterson's desk later this month.
The Bottle Bill will require that familiar 5 cent deposit on water bottles, as it does for soda bottles and other carbonated beverage containers. You return the water bottles to the supermarket, as you do soda bottles, and, voila, you get your nickel back, not to mention fewer plastic containers thrown out of car windows, ditched at the curb, or left in parks or on beaches.
That the Bottle Bill won't be extended to cover other non-carbonated containers such as juice bottles, iced tea bottles, sport drink bottles, the "best stuff on earth" Snapple bottles, is a head-scratcher. Then again, change comes slowly, when it comes at all, in Albany, not to mention that the beverage industry lobby carries considerably more weight, or so it would appear, than do you, the mere voter.
With April designated as Earth Month (one day per year being hardly enough), its nice to think that we may be taking a teeny weeny step to help clean up planet earth. No, we're not eliminating greenhouse gases, per se, or impacting in a meaningful way upon climate change, but by expanding the recycling program to include water bottles, we are taking yet another step, however small, toward keeping the Empire State beautiful.