A federal judge has lifted the injuction that halted the implementation of a 5¢ deposit on bottled water in NY State. Advocates for the deposit say it will increase recycling while bringing money to the state. The injunction was imposed after a group of bottlers filed suit, claiming the expansion was unconstitutional because it excluded non-carbonated, sugar-added beverages.
Water bottles are one of the more commonly littered items and comprise nearly 25% of all beverages sold in the state. Cash strapped state government would be entitled to 80% of unclaimed deposits, equaling millions of dollars annually for it's general fund.
The lawsuit challenging the expansion was brought by a group of bottlers including the International Bottled Water Association, Nestle Waters, and Polar Beverages. Among other complaints, the suit claims the new law arbitrarily exempts non-carbonated beverages that have added sugar, creating a competitive disadvantage. A US Federal District Judge in Manhattan originally delayed the expansion to give bottlers more time to comply with labeling provisions in the law. That injunction was lifted on Friday.