Bottle Bill; Small Business Exemption (S.3390/A.6845)

Date: 2017

S.3390 Gallivan

A.6845 Schimminger


Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York, supports this legislation.

This legislation would exempt certain small businesses outside of New York City from the state’s requirement that they accept the return of empty beverage containers.  It would apply to stores that are less than 2,000 square feet in size, and food processing establishments that are less than 5,000 square feet in size.

This bill is intended to relieve businesses with limited physical space from the requirement that they accept empty containers from consumers under New York’s Bottle Bill.  Stores with small physical locations find it is extremely difficult to accept empty containers, as they must do so manually and then store the retuned containers to await pickup.  And storing empty cans and bottles, many of which have not been thoroughly cleaned, can attract insects and rodents, creating sanitation and potential public health hazards.

This commonsense measure would benefit the smallest businesses by giving them the ability to opt out of the state’s requirement to accept and store empty beverage containers.   We do not believe it will undermine the goals of the state’s returnable container act, as there are many locations where consumers can redeem their empty containers.

For these reasons, Unshackle Upstate supports the enactment of this legislation.