Writing in the New York Times today, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls the New York bottle bill, which singled out bottled water, a “boondoggle.”
Kennedy is in favor of a deposit bill so long as it impacts ALL users of plastics and doesn’t just single out one industry. At Bottled Water Matters, we’re typically not in favor of bottle bills, but if lawmakers are gonna do it, the law ought to be fair for all.
The nephew of the nation’s 35th president writes, (emphasis added):
A good new deposit bill could encourage recycling of new classes of beverage bottles and also provide financing for curbside programs that capture other kinds of recyclable waste, like juice cartons, ketchup bottles and mayonnaise jars. These are all made from the same plastic and glass as soda, beer and water bottles, yet fewer than one in five of them are being recycled. Since such containers are not subject to deposit laws, their recycling is driven only by moral imperative or local ordinances, and these incentives function best when supported by robust curbside recycling programs or other easy recycling options.
Unfortunately, the New York Legislature passed a bottle law last month that not only fails to accomplish these goals but will actually harm the recycling programs New York has. It is an ugly sausage that was cooked up by lobbyists for makers of sugared drinks and their allies in the Legislature. Instead of requiring deposits for all the new beverage categories, as Gov. David Paterson originally proposed, New York’s new bottle law covers bottled water only – unless that water contains added sugar.
That’s not a misprint.