Dear Friends:

We have only two more weeks to get state lawmakers to pass the Bigger Better Bottle Bill in the NYS budget.   After a seven-year campaign, this is the closest we have gotten to victory.  We are in the home stretch, but we need to make one final BIG push!
PLEASE take the time to make the following calls to your state representatives and key legislative leaders. Urge them to include the Bigger Better Bottle Bill in the 2009-2010 State Budget.
Governor David A. Paterson: 518-474-8390

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith: 518-455-2701
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: 518-455-3791
Your State Senator, (518) 455-2800 (Senate Switchboard)*
Your State Assemblymember, (518) 455-4100 (Assembly Switchboard)* 
* The switchboard can transfer you to the correct office if you know the name of your legislator.  To find out who represents you, go to the Senate and Assembly links listed above, or type in your address at
Thanks for all your contributions to this effort – we hope the next e-mail we send you will contain good news!
We are closer to victory on the Bigger Better Bottle Bill than ever before.  Governor Paterson has proposed including the BBBB in the state budget this year.  With only weeks to go before April 1st when state lawmakers are supposed to finalize the budget, your calls and letters now could make all the difference!
The public strongly supports this environmental measure:
- More than 700 groups, businesses, and local governments endorse the BBBB
- 3 polls show that more than 80% of New Yorkers support the BBBB
- More than 100 editorials have been published calling on lawmakers to pass the BBBB

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill updates New York's 5-cent deposit law on beer and soda to include non-carbonated beverages, like bottled water and sports drinks, which now make up a third of the beverage market.  This would increase recycling and make our communities cleaner and healthier.   It also would require beverage companies, who currently keep the deposits when people don't return their bottles and cans, to turn this money over to the state.  This would generate more than $200 million a year for environmental protection in New York.
This measure has been “bottled up” in Albany for many years due to opposition from the powerful beverage and supermarket lobbies.  While the Assembly has passed it several times, the Senate has consistently failed to take action.  This year, however, with new leadership in the Senate and a massive budget gap that lawmakers are struggling to fill, we are very, very close to achieving a landmark environmental victory. 

Please contact your state legislators and urge them to include the Bigger Better Bottle Bill in the 2009-2010 state budget.

Sample Talking Points
* The BBBB will generate new revenue for the state, while benefiting our environment – a win-win for New Yorkers.  Three separate polls have shown that more than 80% of New Yorkers support this common-sense measure.
* The BBBB builds on the success of NY’s original bottle law, which was passed in 1982.   With an average return rate of over 70%, the current Bottle Bill is New York’s most effective recycling and litter control law.
* People’s tastes have changed since 1982, and the Bottle Bill needs to be updated.  Today, bottled water and other non-carbonated beverages, which were not included in the original Bottle Bill, make up about 1/3 of the beverage market.
* In 2006, an estimated 4.6 billion containers of non-carbonated beverages were sold in New York.  Stacked end to end, they would go all the way to the moon and back!  Without a deposit, fewer than 20% of these bottles and cans get recycled.
* New York is out of step with other states, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, and Hawaii, which require unclaimed container deposits to be transferred to the state. 
* During the current budget crisis, lawmakers will have to make many difficult decisions.  This should be an easy one.   It would be indefensible for the politicians in Albany to cut vital programs like health care, social services, and environmental protection, yet continue to let the beverage companies keep the public’s unclaimed nickel deposits.
* We all have a responsibility to keep our communities clean and healthy.  Each year that state lawmakers fail to update New York's Bottle Bill, more than three billion water bottles and other non-deposit containers end up in the trash or polluting our beaches, parks, roads and sidewalks.  It's time to update the Bottle Bill to include these containers.

For More Information 

Visit NYPIRG's webpage:

Or contact NYPIRG staff at 518-436-0876:

Joe Stelling,

Brian Bishop,

Laura Haight,

 * Please forward! Apologies for cross-posting *

Barbara Warren
Executive Director
Citizens' Environmental Coalition
33 Central Ave.
Albany, NY 12210
518-462-5527 Phone
518-465-8349 Fax