WASHINGTON – A recent study released by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation suggests expanding the NY bottle bill to include wine and liquor, but the study’s own research shows the move would impact approximately 4,500 businesses. Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Vice President of State Government Relations Jay Hibbard released the following statement in response to the findings:
“With spirits bottles making up less than four percent of all bottles moving through the state of New York, including them in the bottle bill would have little or no impact on the solid waste stream. It would, however, impose a huge burden on small businesses that do not have the capacity to absorb the new costs, resulting in higher prices being passed onto consumers. Coupled with the fact that New York already has some of the highest taxes and fees placed on distilled spirits in the country, this additional cost would be excessive.”
The study’s conclusion stated that “several thousand New York State manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of wine and liquor would incur significant costs by being required to become either a deposit initiator or dealer for the first time. Many of these businesses are small independently run enterprises that would incur these costs individually and not benefit from any economies of scale that larger chain establishments might. It is estimated that the industry would incur over $40 million dollars in ongoing direct costs, with additional significant upfront costs.”
Currently, more than 50 percent of the price of a distilled spirits product sold in New York goes to pay a tax or fee of some kind.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S.