Changes could be coming to liquor and wine in New York State.

New legislation to amend the Better Bottle Bill, first enacted 40 years ago, would add wine, liquor, distilled spirit coolers, and cider to the list of returnable bottles in New York State.

“After 40 years, it’s time to modernize New York’s returnables law with my Bigger, Better Bottle Bill," said bill sponsor Senator Rachel May. "When the original bottle bill was implemented in 1983, the variety of bottles we use was much narrower than today. So, it only makes sense to add bottles to the list, making our communities cleaner and our recycling system more resilient by reducing waste."

Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash
Photo by Scott Warman on Unsplash

Reduce Litter

Litter has been reduced in New York by 70% since the Bottle Bill went into effect, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It also encouraged billions of plastic, glass, and aluminum containers to be recycled.

The more than 11 million tons of containers that have been recycled in New York have reduced the same amount of gas emissions as taking 3 million cars off the road for a year, according to The Container Recycling Institute.

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Deposit Refund Increase

The Better Bottle Bill also calls for an increase in deposit refunds from 5 to 10 cents, which would go into effect on April 1, 2025. Senator May hopes it will encourage more people to recycle.

Raising the deposit to 10 cents will incentivize the public to return empty beverage containers, reduce litter, and provide additional income to individuals who collect and redeem such containers.

If the new legislation is passed, the expansion of returnable bottles would be phased in, starting with glass and aluminum.

The Better Bottle Bill is in committee.

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