Legislative Memo


S.5443 (Marcellino)



Bottle Bill



May 20, 2007


The Business Council opposes this legislation, which would expand the state's bottle bill to cover most beverage containers, and “capture” the larger volume of unclaimed bottle deposits, which in turn would be used to finance expanded state spending programs.

Our opposition to this measure is fourfold:

Finally, this bill will have a significant adverse financial impact on the beverage industry, which currently uses unclaimed deposits to partially finance their costs imposed by the existing bottle bill.

Touted as an environmental measure, this is in reality a hidden tax on New York State manufacturers, bottler, distributors and – ultimately – consumers. These added costs will eventually lead to higher prices and perhaps sales disruptions as below scale operators from adjoining states bootleg cheaper product into New York – especially New York City. Because of both expansion and this higher price to sell legally, an already continuing network of determined operators will benefit to the detriment to law abiding, and taxed, in-state producers and franchises. As such, these increased costs are of concern to both to New York's beverage industry and its workforce.

New York State continues to operate two separate state-wide recycling programs – mandated municipal recycling for those post-consumer wastes for which there is an “economic market,” and mandated store-based recycling for certain beverage containers. Shifting materials from one mandated recycling program to another will produce limited environmental benefits to the state, while imposing significant additional costs and inconvenience on consumers and businesses alike.

For these reasons, The Business Council opposes adoption of S.5443.