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Tell New York's leaders: Stop bottle pollution


plastic bottle in the river
Learn more about plastic pollution >

Plastic bottles were the most common type of litter found along the Hudson in Riverkeeper Sweep shoreline cleanups this year. Expanding New York’s 5-cent deposit on containers is a critical policy solution to address both plastic pollution and the current recycling crisis.

New York’s existing bottle deposit program, first enacted in 1982, covers a limited number of carbonated beverages and wine coolers with a 65 percent bottle return rate for currently covered containers. 

Compare that to states without bottle deposit programs that report an average 24 percent recycling rate in traditional curbside programs. Lessons from other states with more expansive bottle deposit programs such as Maine report an 84 percent redemption rate, showing that expanding the bottle bill to include more types of beverage bottles will increase recycling rates and reduce the number that ends up polluting our waterways.

DEC estimates New York’s existing bottle bill has decreased beverage container litter by 70 percent for bottles currently covered. We know this policy works at reducing litter, let’s supercharge the bottle bill to protect our waters from plastic pollution.

Please send a message to Governor Cuomo and your state representatives, urging them to support Assemblymember Englebright’s A.5028-A, which would expand New York State’s bottle deposit program to include non-carbonated beverages as well as wine and liquor glass bottles.


•    Read the sample letter (below) and edit it as you see fit. Include an opening statement about why this issue is important to you. Personalized letters have a greater impact!

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  • Your Governor
  • Your State Representative or Representatives


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Dear: [Decision Maker],

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]