Tell Governor Hochul: It's time to stop plastic bottle pollution


plastic bottle in the river
Learn more about plastic pollution >

Year after year, plastic bottles are the most common type of litter found along the Hudson in Riverkeeper Sweep shoreline cleanups. By 2050 the World Economic Forum estimates that our oceans will have more plastic than fish by weight. We have to fight back now.

Plastic pollution from products such as single-use plastic bottles harms the health of the Hudson River, posing threats to wildlife that the Riverkeeper community has fought so hard to defend. Studies are documenting pollution from microplastics in the Hudson and aquatic life. While the sources are many, we can take one practical step right now to reduce plastic pollution and ensure polluters are held responsible. A bill to increase the 5-cent bottle deposit to 10 cents, and apply it to more containers, is a critical policy solution requiring the companies that create plastic pollution to be responsible for keeping them out of our waterways.

Bottle redemption programs are highly successful and their expansion is an untapped opportunity to tackle plastic pollution. 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.

We know this program works. States without bottle deposit programs report an average 24 percent recycling rate in traditional curbside programs. Other states with more expansive bottle deposit programs, like Maine, have an 84 percent redemption rate! Expanding New York’s bottle bill to include more types of beverage bottles will increase recycling rates and help keep plastics out of our waterways.

DEC estimates New York’s existing bottle bill has decreased beverage container litter by 70 percent for bottles that are covered by the existing bill. 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 Hochul and your state representatives, urging them to support A6353/S237, which would expand New York State’s bottle deposit program to include non-carbonated beverages as well as wine and liquor glass bottles.


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