2008-02-01 / Community

'Message In A Bottle'To Albany

Improved Bottle Bill Could Clean Up The Coasts

Members of the New York City Chapter of the Surfside Foundation are sending a message in a bottle, literally, to lawmakers in Albany in support of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. In one afternoon, volunteers collected 10 bags of non-redeemable bottles from Rockaway's beaches to demonstrate that updates are needed to the current law. Several of these bottles have been mailed to key legislators in Albany.

"Too many bottles are not covered by the current deposit law. Most of these bottles are plastic, and these bottles are fouling NY's beautiful oceans, waves, and beaches," said Chris Wade, a Rockaway resident and Surfrider Foundation volunteer leading the effort. "Our message in a bottle is simply this: pass the bill."

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill would be updated to New York's current Bottle Bill (which has not been revised since 1982). The current law only covers carbonated beverages like soda and beer. The updated law would extend the refundable deposit to nearly

all containers including water, iced tea, sport drinks, and juices in an effort to reduce litter and boost recycling. Under the current law, unclaimed

deposits are returned to the beverage companies totaling as much as $100 million a year. The updated law will provide revenue for environmental protection by returning unclaimed deposits to the state.

This action kicks off the "Message in a Bottle" campaign in which Surfrider Foundation activist will be fighting for passage of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill. The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroot organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves and beaches.

Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide.

For information on the Surfrider Foundation and the New York City Chapter, go to www. surfrider.org/nyc.

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