A.2517 (DiNapoli)



A.2517 (DiNapoli)


Expanded Bottle Bill



The Business Council opposes A.2517, which would expand the state's bottle bill to cover most
beverage containers, and “capture” an increased amount of unclaimed bottle deposits so that they
can be used to finance an expanded state spending program.

Our opposition to this measure is fourfold:

  • By the sponsors' own calculation, the effect of this bill is to impose an additional tax of
    between $50 and $90 million per year on New York State consumers. An expanded bottle bill
    will take at least an additional $50 million from New York State consumers (using projections
    included in the sponsor's memo) and spend that money through the Environmental Protection
    Fund. Since the impact of this expanded deposit law will be similar to that of a sales tax on
    food, the impact will disproportionately affect low and middle income taxpayers.
  • While purporting to provide financial support to municipal recycling efforts, this bill will take
    valuable post-consumer materials out of municipal recycling programs, and divert those
    materials to store-based recycling. Most beverage bottles that will be affected by an
    expanded bottle bill are made from PET, which has a current average market value of $55 per
    ton. Aluminum cans, which are used for some non-carbonated beverages that would also be
    captured by this expanded bottle bill, have a current market value of $.58 per pound. In
    contrast, newsprint – a major component of municipal recycling programs – has a current
    average market value of just $5.50 per ton, one-tenth the value of PET. As a result, this bill
    will reduce the average per-ton recovery value of the municipal recycling stream, while
    expanding state-taxpayer financial support for those very same programs.
  • By increasing the volume of redemptions, this bill will significantly increase the compliance
    burden placed on supermarkets, convenience stores and other beverage outlets. The existing
    bottle bill imposes additional costs on retailers, consumes limited store space and staff
    resources, and raises sanitation and “housekeeping” problems in stores. This bill would
    exacerbate each of these adverse impacts on the retail sector – while at the same time, divert
    valuable resources from the municipal recycling system. It is unclear why we would want to
    mandate that our food stores play an even larger role in our solid waste management system.
  • 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.

New York State continues to operate two separate state-wide recycling programs – mandated
municipal recycling for those post-consumer wastes with an “economic market,” and mandated
store-based recycling for certain beverage containers. Shifting materials from one mandated
recycling program to another will produce limited 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 A.2517.