Sadly, the Better Bottle Bill didn't pass before the New York Legislature adjourned, returning in January of 2024 for the next session. All four of Surfrider’s New York Chapters worked hard to call, email, and send postcards to their elected officials-- and two Surfrider staff joined a lobby day in Albany in May. Along with our main coalition partners Only One, NYPIRG, and Beyond Plastics, we made great progress on getting legislators to sponsor the bill, and we are set up well for next session.
Surfrider looks forward to passing this bill next New York Legislative session, and you can add your name to the list and send your elected official a message about these bills through our two action alerts: Bigger Better Bottle Bill and EPR Bill.
We are asking Governor Hochul and our NY State elected officials to pass NY Senate Bill S237 & Assembly Bill A6353. These bills would expand the current NY Bottle Bill to: (1) Include wine, spirits, hard cider, and most non-carbonated beverages; (2) Increase the deposit from 5-cents to 10-cents; and (3) Require the use of specific amounts of recycled materials in plastic, aluminum, and glass beverage containers.
First enacted in 1982, the New York State Returnable Container Act, commonly known as the “Bottle Bill,” requires a 5-cent refundable deposit to be placed on eligible beverage containers. In 2009, the law was expanded to include bottled water. Over its nearly 40-year history, New York’s Bottle Bill has proven to be a highly effective program to reduce litter and increase recycling rates.
States with bottle deposit laws have a beverage container recycling rate of around 60%, while non-deposit states only reach about 24%. Michigan and Oregon have already increased their deposit to 10 cents, leading to an immediate increase in recycling redemption rates. A mere inflation update would likely make a 5-cent deposit in 1982 nearly fifteen cents today. It’s past time for New York to raise its deposit to a dime.