The Business Council opposes S.7463 (Reichlin-Melnick)/A.8435 (Fahy), which requires the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to prohibit the sale of single use plastic water bottles in state parks. While we support many of the state’s initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we believe this legislation is misguided and unnecessary.
Almost all plastic drink bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the most recycled and recyclable plastic in the United States. The industry is committed to designing their plastic bottles to be 100% recyclable, including the caps. When asked to assist the environment, the industry responded and made products that provide environmental benefits that include energy conservation, air and water pollution reduction, and the conservation of natural resources.
In 2017, Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that requires recycling at state parks, historic sites and other recreational facilities (S.4084-A/A.2858-B). It was touted by its sponsors as setting the standard for recycling and encouraging other states to do the same. Chairman Englebright in his comments stated that recycling was one of the most powerful actions that could be taken to maintain and clean and healthy environment. New York did its part, and the beverage industry has done theirs by producing PET bottles that are 100% recyclable.
Our members are working diligently to further the gains that have been made through recycling. Beverage manufacturers have invested in the modernization of recycling systems to ensure that bottles are remade as planned and do not become waste in oceans, rivers or landfills. New York’s beverage industry has worked with numerous entities on this issue including recyclers, public and private entities, elected officials, and environmental groups to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. They have recovered valuable plastic as a part of their recycling efforts to help create litter-free communities.
Innovation and the commitment to invest by our members to reduce their environmental impact has been paramount and for these reasons, the Business Council strongly opposes S.7463 (Reichlin-Melnick)/A.8435 (Fahy).