Expansion of Bottle Bill

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A five-cent refundable deposit will be tacked on to the price of bottled water and other non-carbonated bottled beverages under Governor Paterson's budget proposal. The expansion of New York's bottle bill means consumers can get those five pennies back if they return their bottles to vendors, instead of tossing them into the trash. Marcia Bystryn of the New York League of Conservation Voters says the measure will benefit the environment.

BYSTRYN: This is a first step here and to begin to think of producers being responsible for the packaging they create, and since they have to recycle the material there are incentives to make sure the material is easily recyclable.

REPORTER: The measure also requires beverage distributors to turn over 80 percent of unredeemed deposits to the state's Environmental Protection Fund -- that's millions of dollars each year that they keep now.

A coalition of distributors and grocery stores oppose the measure, saying they'll be forced to pass the extra costs in bottle handling and recycling, onto consumers.