ALBANY, NY -- A nickel deposit is now required on bottled water as part of New York state's expanded "Bigger Better Bottle Bill," which was signed into law in April. As of Nov. 8, the 5¢ refundable deposit is added to any glass, metal or plastic container holding less than one gallon of water, flavored water or nutritionally enhanced water that contains zero grams of sugar on its nutritional label.
Soda and beer sold in New York have long been subject to the deposit fee, and water joined their ranks when a federal judge issued an order last month lifting an injunction on the expansion of the state's bottle bill to include bottled water. The injunction had been issued last May when the International Bottled Water Association, Nestlé Waters North America and Polar Beverages filed suit, claiming that the expanded law was unconstitutional.
In August, the judge ruled that some of the key provisions of the expanded bottle bill could go into effect immediately. She also ruled that the bottled water industry must comply with the expanded bottled bill by Oct. 22, unless IBWA, Nestlé and Polar could demonstrate at a hearing on that date that compliance was impossible.
In neighboring Connecticut, the state's bottle deposit law was extended to include water on Oct. 1. Fairfield University responded by becoming the first college campus to deploy Tomra's Uno reverse vending machines for deposit container recycling.
The machine allows students, faculty and staff to deposit plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers for a 5¢ refund. The machines generate receipts for users to take to a designated office to receive a credit on their university debit/ID cards, which are used to purchase food, books, laundry and other campus expenses. The reverse venders can accept as many as 20 containers a minute and hold up to 500 containers.
Vending Innovations LLC, led by industry veterans Paul Schlossberg and Allen Weintraub, represents Tomra in vending and related channels, including colleges and universities. The consulting firm can be reached by calling (972) 877-2972.