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Container Recycling Institute
Environmental Advocates of New York
Natural Resources Defense Council
New York Public Interest Research Group

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:
Contact:
Feb. 12, 2004, 11:00 a.m.

Laura Haight, NYPIRG, 518-436-0876, x258

 
David Higby, EANY, 518-462-5526, x239
 
Mark Izeman, NRDC, 212-727-4453
 
Pat Franklin, CRI, 703-276-9800
 
Jeffrey Padden, PPA, 517-485-4477

 

NEW POLL SHOWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR
NY'S BOTTLE BILL AND PROPOSED REFORMS

(Albany) Advocates for expanding New York's beverage container deposit law (known as the "bottle bill") today released the results of a poll of New York voters' attitudes toward the bottle bill and proposed reforms.

The telephone survey of 800 randomly sampled registered voters in New York State was conducted in January by Public Policy Associates, a national research firm based in Lansing, Michigan. The survey has a margin of error of (+/-) 3.5 %.

The poll was designed to gauge public response to reforms proposed in the "Bigger, Better Bottle Bill," A.3922-A/S.1696-A, sponsored by Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli and Senator Kenneth LaValle.

The poll's key findings included:

"Support for these measures is robust across all the measured subgroups," said Jeffrey D. Padden, president of Public Policy Associates. "Women and men, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, young and old, people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and income levels, from across the state, strongly support the current law and these proposed reforms."

The poll was commissioned by Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY) and developed in conjunction with the Container Recycling Institute (CRI), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).

"The strong public response to these reforms exceeded our expectations," said David Higby, EANY's solid waste projector director. "New Yorkers understand that the bottle bill benefits our environment and has made our state cleaner."

"New Yorkers have sent a Valentine's message to our state law-makers," said Laura Haight, senior environmental associate with NYPIRG. "New Yorkers love the bottle bill, and they support making it bigger and better."

"Bottle bills have historically enjoyed widespread public support," said Pat Franklin, executive director of CRI and a nationally renowned expert on container deposit laws. "This poll confirms that, what holds true in other states, holds true for New York as well."

"With state and local governments facing huge funding gaps, law-makers would be remiss to overlook the revenue from taking back unclaimed deposits," said Mark Izeman, senior attorney with NRDC. "This poll shows there is overwhelming public support for this reform, which would generate nearly $180 million a year for environmental programs in New York."

Other findings include:

More than 350 groups, local governments and businesses have endorsed the "Bigger, Better Bottle Bill," which would expand New York's existing law to include non-carbonated beverages and would require the beverage industry to turn over unclaimed deposits to the State Environmental Protection Fund to support recycling and environmental programs.

According to CRI's estimates, the "Bigger, Better Bottle Bill" would capture up to 2.6 billion additional bottles and cans a year, and the unclaimed deposits would provide more than $179 million a year to fund environmental programs. Advocates are calling on the Assembly, Senate and Governor to adopt these reforms this year.

The full report is available on-line at:

www.eany.org
www.nypirg.org
www.container-recycling.org
www.publicpolicy.com

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