Since its update on October 31, 2009, the New York’ State Returnable Container Act – also known as the “Bottle Bil”, which added water bottles to the list of beverage containers requiring a minimum 5-cent refundable deposit – has brought in an added $120 million from previously unclaimed bottle deposits.
Beverage companies are now required to turn over 80% of the unredeemed deposits to the state’s General Fund. Prior to this law, beverage companies kept the unclaimed deposits.
The New York law has helped spur recycling on a national level as well.
“PET reclaimers in the U.S. are hungry for this material,” Collins said. “They are busy building new plants in the U.S., and can staff them with new employees as long as the materials are available to them.”
Good news for the recycling industry. Given that less than 25 percent of plastic bottles get recycled, if consumers across the country got onboard and consistently increase their personal levels of recycling, we’d make real headway in seriously reducing what goes into our landfills.