Beginning On Halloween, Those Water Bottles (on which you will pay a nickel deposit) Become Returnable
A victory (sort of) for environmentalists, who decry the ageless plastic water bottle as a mainstay of the landfill for the next billion years, and for those of us who loathe seeing those containers lining our roadways and strewn about our parks and beaches.
Starting on Saturday, October 31, water sold in containers will require a 5 cent deposit, per bottle, which deposit -- as with the nickel deposit on soda bottles, beer bottles, and wine coolers -- will be refundable upon the bottle's return to the store. [Water bottles already in your possession that did not require a deposit are NOT refundable. DUH!]
Our friends at Citizens Campaign for the Environment applauded the implementation of the expanded bottle bill -- which had been contested in the federal court by bottlers and manufacturers (those fiends).
"The original Bottle Bill was one of the most successful pieces of environmental legislation and substantially reduced litter and increased recycling. Many things have changed in the decades since states first adopted bottle bills. In the early 1980’s, carbonated and malt beverages comprised the lion’s share of the convenience beverage market. Now, the largest growing sector of the convenience beverage industry consists of bottled water, tea, and sports drinks. CCE and our partners have worked for years to expand the Bottle Bill to capture these beverages. Recycling saves money, creates jobs, saves energy, and fights climate change."
The expanded bottle bill still does not include other, non-carbonated beverage containers, such as iced-tea, sports drinks, or any beverage with added sugar, nor does it address the issue of whether we should be drinking our water from reusable containers rather than the disposables in the first place, but it is viewed by consumer groups as a step in the right direction.
Detractors of the inclusion of water bottles in the expanded law say that the price of a 24-pack of water will now increase by $2 (the nickel deposit, per bottle, plus handling fees) -- this increase amounting to little more than an additional tax upon the public -- and, based on the history of bottles not returned for deposit refunds, will still leave 50% of the water bottles in the trash or on the side of the road.
Of interest -- and some surprise -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an environmentalist and (what do you know), water bottler (all profits go to environmental concerns) , opposed the legislation as giving an unfair advantage to the sugared beverage manufacturers, as well as undermining recycling programs.
A still bigger and measurably better bottle bill, to include all beverage containers and further encourage and enhance recycling initiatives, perhaps?
While the court's injunction on the water bottle deposit program is lifted as of today, technically, dealers will have until November 8 to "gear up" and be in full compliance with the law.
Drink up, New York, and no more tossing of those water bottles out the car window, or leaving them behind at the beach, park, or curb!