New York is Not Disposable Rally & Advocacy Day to Pass Packaging Reduction and Bigger Better Bottle Bill

Start: Tuesday, May 02, 202310:00 AM

Image shows plastic packaging gushing from a faucet into a body of water with the text "Turn off the Plastic Tap"

Save the date to join Beyond Plastics, NYPIRG, League of Women Voters of NYS, Food & Water Watch, and dozens more at the New York State Capitol in Albany for a Rally and Advocacy Day to say "New York is Not Disposable." Together we can pass a strong Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act (PRRA) and the Bigger Better Bottle Bill (BBBB).

10-10:30am: We will meet at the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 85 Chestnut Street, Albany, 12210

11:00am: Walk together to the steps at the Capital Building for a rally at 11:30

12:30-4pm: Advocacy meetings with legislators where we will ask them to cosponsor and pass the PRRA and BBBB. To be added to meetings with your legislators, RSVP with your address. We will not share your info!

There will be a virtual event briefing on Monday, May 1 at 7pm. RSVP for the meeting link.

**NYC and New Paltz residents: There will be free buses leaving from 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, Manhattan, at 7:10am on May 2. Returning buses will leave Albany at 4:30pm, returning at 7:30pm to NYC. Pickup location is next to 34th St. - Penn Station. New Paltz residents can get on the bus at 8:35am from the Park & Ride off the NYS Thruway at the New Paltz exit (Park & Ride, I-87, New Paltz, NY 12561). Space is limited to first come, first served, so RSVP now!

What is the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act? (Assembly bill 5322/Senate bill 4246)

The bulk of packaging that cannot be reused or recycled is single-use plastic. The PRRA is an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program that would require companies to reduce their single-use packaging by 50% in 12 years. It also requires the remaining materials be refillable, reusable, or truly recyclable, and bans a dozen toxic chemicals from packaging. The PRRA would make packaging producers legally and financially responsible for end-of-life management of their packaging, instead of relying on taxpayers (cities and towns) to foot the bill.

How does EPR for packaging work?

Individual producers pay fees based on the amount of packaging they sell in the state and, ideally, those fees are adjusted to incentivize manufacturers to make packaging that is less toxic and more recyclable. The fees go into a fund that reimburses municipalities for collecting and processing packaging waste for recycling. The fund may also be used to make grants for projects that create or improve the reuse, refill, and recycling infrastructure. Typically, a state environmental agency provides oversight to ensure the program is on track to achieving its goals and packaging companies are complying.

The plastic pollution crisis demands a strong legislative response. The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act requires:

  • Ambitious performance targets: 50% packaging reduction with 12 years, and the remaining packaging must be reusable or truly recyclable
  • Prohibits incineration “chemical recycling” from counting toward recycling targets
  • Toxics reduction: prohibits packaging from containing 12 highly toxic compounds and sets a process for expanding that list
  • Enforcement: creates an Office of Inspector General to enforce compliance with the law

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill expands New York’s existing container deposit law to include more containers like tea, wine, liquor, hard cider, and nips bottles. It also raises the deposit to 10 cents, which will motivate more people to redeem their containers, and also will give a much-deserved raise to more than 10,000 vulnerable workers in the state who earn their income by collecting and redeeming containers. Redemption centers will also get much needed support when the handling fee is increased to 6 cents. It is estimated that this bill will create 4,145 new jobs and increase the redemption rate in New York from 64% to 90%.