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Governor’s Budget Proposes to Expand Bottle Bill

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal includes an expansion of the Bottle Bill to add sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit & vegetable drinks, and ready-to-drink coffees and teas. Wine and liquor bottles are not immediately included in the new, broader mandate, but a task force is created by the proposal to study how to expand the law to these containers.

The addition of these new containers will strain a system that is struggling to manage the existing burden. But as hard as that might be – squeezing more containers into an already overloaded process – at least the soda and beer distributors have an existing process for managing bottle returns. Liquor and wine distributors are not in the bottle deposit/return business so they would have to make a significant investment in the infrastructure needed to handle this process – and you know who will pay for that!

While the Governor may be proposing a task force to plan for expansion of the Bottle Bill to include wine and liquor bottles, others may not be willing to wait. A coalition of waste disposal companies who oppose expansion of the Bottle Bill as proposed by the Governor are advocating for adding glass containers, including wine and liquor bottles, to the law.