Join Save the Pine Bush in the Fight to End Plastic Pollution – Tuesday May 14th – NYS Capitol

Please join Save the Pine Bush in advocating with the New York is NOT Disposable Coalition to meet with your state representatives in Albany to help get two critical bills — the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (S4246-b/A5322-b) and the Bigger Better Bottle Bill (S237-b/A6353) — to reduce single-use plastics and increase reuse, refill and recycling over the finish line this spring!

At 10:00 AM, we will gather at the 3rd Floor Terrace of the Legislative Office Building at 198 State Street, Albany, 12210 for a short briefing and to get everyone into their groups and distribute meeting schedules and talking points. Groups will then meet with legislators until noon when we’ll break for an empowering outdoor rally (weather permitting) in West Capitol Park, just across the State Street from the Legislative Office Building. After eating a quick lunch on the go, groups will continue to meet with legislators until 4:00 PM.

Learn more at the Action Network!

We’re advocating for …

The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act is an important NYS environmental bill that will transform the way goods are packaged and sold in our state.

When you buy products at a store or online, they come with wasteful amounts of packaging — much of it single-use plastics. Think detergent bottles, air pillows, and non-recyclable films. While metals, glass, and paper can be readily recycled, 95% of plastics are not recycled (and most can’t be recycled at all). The fact that consumer brands use plastic — a material manufactured from fossil fuels that never biodegrades — for a single-use purpose contributes to climate change and pollutes environmental justice communities where packaging waste that cannot be recycled is landfilled, incinerated, or dumped.

New Yorkers have no control over how much single-use packaging is pumped into the market by companies. However, they are the ones that pay to manage all that packaging waste. New York City alone spends more than $426 million each year to export their waste to incinerators and landfills. Waste that isn’t recycled can become unsightly pollution in New York waterways, where it can choke wildlife, break into tiny microplastics, and leach toxic chemicals. It is estimated that two garbage trucks of plastic enter the ocean each minute.

The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (PRRIA) would hold companies accountable to reduce, reuse, and recycle their packaging by requiring:

  • 50% reduction of plastic packaging in 12 years
  • All packaging be designed to be reusable or truly recyclable
  • Get toxic chemicals out of packaging and set a process for expanding the list of banned toxic chemicals; and
  • Companies must pay for the waste management of their packaging, relieving taxpayers and municipalities.

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill would expand New York’s existing container deposit law to include more containers like tea, wine, liquor, hard cider, and nips bottles. It also raises the deposit to 10 cents, which will motivate more people to redeem their containers, and also will give a much-deserved raise to more than 10,000 vulnerable workers in the state who earn their income by collecting and redeeming containers. Redemption centers will also get much needed support when the handling fee is increased to 6 cents. It is estimated that this bill will create 4,145 new jobs and increase the redemption rate in New York from 64% to 90%.

Why is it important to help pass these two bills this spring?

  • Massive grassroots advocacy is the firewall against Big Plastic’s influence. The American Chemistry Council, fossil fuel companies, and consumer brands are in Albany opposing this bill and talking to legislators – we need YOU to add your voice to pass these two major climate and environmental justice bills!
  • Plastic packaging is made from fossil fuels and chemicals, thousands of which are known to be toxic to humans including BPA, BPS, phthalates, PFAS, heavy metals, perchlorates, vinyl chloride, styrene, and more.
  • The U.S. is the world’s largest plastic polluter.
  • Plastics are speeding up the climate crisis. If plastic were a country it would be the world’s fifth biggest greenhouse gas polluter.
  • Plastic recycling is a myth; just 5-6% of plastic is recycled in the U.S. each year and it’s actually “downcycled” rather than recycled.
  • Plastic never biodegrades, it just breaks up into smaller pieces called microplastics that have been found in human blood, hearts, lungs, placentas, and breastmilk.
  • The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act reduces plastic at the source and makes packaging far less toxic.
  • The Bigger Better Bottle Bill modernizes New York’s existing container deposit law to help cover more types of bottles and increase the incentive for returning them for recycling and refilling.