The Success of New York's Bottle Bill

The New York State Returnable Container Act, also known as the "Bottle Bill", has been a tremendous success. Over the last 26 years it has achieved significant impacts to create a cleaner and healthier New York. The Bottle Bill has:

  • reduced roadside litter by 70 percent;
  • recycled 90 billion containers, equal to 6 million tons of materials, at no cost to local governments;
  • saved more than 52 million barrels of oil; and
  • eliminated 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.

When the Bottle Bill was passed in 1982 non-carbonated drinks like iced teas, sport drinks and bottled water made up a small fraction of the beverage market. Today, non-carbonated water makes up more than 23 percent of the market.