Thursday, April 23, 2009


It looks like we won't be getting our bottle deposit law for a little while yet. Here's fervently hoping any amendments are used only to allow companies to comply, and not to weaken the law.

Heard this morning on public radio:
The expanded bottle deposits were supposed to take effect June 1st, but now Governor Paterson and legislative leaders say it may have to be delayed. It seems the new law has some unintended consequences. It requires that all water bottles sold in New York have a special UPC bar code, so that bottles sold in other states without deposits can't be used to fraudulently collect the nickel deposits from New York redemption centers.

But bottlers, particularly smaller operations, say they can't make all of the necessary changes by then. And some large distributors say they have so much inventory in their warehouses that they can't sell all of the non deposit water bottles in the six or so weeks left before the law is to take effect.

Governor Paterson says he's listened to the companies' concerns, and is looking at ways to delay the implementation of the law.

"We are talking to them," said Paterson "We don't want to do anything to hurt the industry while we are trying to clean up the environment."

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who also received awards, say they are willing to consider delaying the implementation of the law as well, so that bottlers and retailers can comply. Speaker Silver says he's not interested in "hurting businesses", while Senator Smith says there's no harm in correcting a mistake.

Paterson and the leaders say the change could be accomplished through amendments, and believe they won't have to redo the entire bottle deposit law.

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