Beverage Industry

IBWA delays N.Y. bottle law

May 27, 2009

The International Bottled Water Association announced this afternoon that it was granted a preliminary injunction that will delay New York's Bottle Bill Expansion law, which was slated to go into effect next week. IBWA released a statement saying: "Today, at 1:00 p.m., Judge Thomas P. Griesa granted a motion from the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Nestle Waters North America, and Polar Beverages for a preliminary injunction, stopping New York State's recently enacted Bottle Bill Expansion law from commencing on June 1, 2009. Additional court proceedings will now occur — although hearing dates have not yet been set."
 
IBWA filed a lawsuit last week challenging the constitutionality of provisions that had been added to New York's Returnable Container Act (RCA). The suit alleged that certain provisions added as part of New York's 2009-2010 budget law impede interstate commerce and violate IBWA members' equal protection and due process rights.
 
"The Association strongly supports the Bottle Bill's goal of encouraging recycling and environmental conservation and is not challenging the deposit requirement or the recycling portions of the Bottle Bill," it said in a statement. "Rather, the IBWA lawsuit concerns the new labeling requirements, unrealistic effective date and special exemptions granted to certain IBWA members' competitors in the recent Bottle Bill amendments."
 
Under the new regulations, all bottles covered by the law must contain a special New York-specific bar code. According to IBWA, the law prohibits bottles with that New York bar code from being sold in other states, even if those states' laws would permit the sale. In addition, bottled water products that have sugar added are exempt from the new regulations.
 
"The new Bottle Bill imposes a number of different requirements on IBWA members, including the need to design new product labels, register those labels with the state, implement a distribution system that ensures New York-labeled bottles are offered for sale only in New York, and create a process to handle redemption of empty bottles by consumers," IBWA said.