Plastic Bottles

Recycle Return to Deposit Redemption Site

The following beverage containers are covered under the NYS Returnable Container Act, also known as the “Bottle Bill”:

  • Carbonated soft drinks, including sparkling water
  • Carbonated energy drinks
  • Carbonated juice (anything less than 100% juice, containing added sugar or water)
  • Carbonated tea
  • Soda water
  • Beer and other malt beverages
  • Mineral water (carbonated and non-carbonated)
  • Wine products
  • Water with no sugar, including flavored or nutritionally enhanced water

Residents can return these beverage containers to local redemption sites to get their deposits back. CLICK HERE to view frequently asked questions about the Bottle Bill. (NOTE: Caps need to be removed from beverage containers returned using reverse vending machines.)

Plastic bottles not covered under the bottle bill should be recycled according to your local recycling guidelines.

Rinse Out Before Recycling

Empty and rinse out plastic bottles before recycling. This will prevent any liquids from contaminating the recycling process.

Not Safe to Reuse

Plastic #1 (PET) has a porous structure that absorbs bacteria over time and becomes more porous with each use. Because germs can reside inside the plastic, you can’t always wash them away.

Not Infinitely Recyclable

Plastic isn’t infinitely recyclable in the same way that glass and metal are. Its quality declines each time it’s recycled, so new plastic needs to be added in order to keep recycling it.

Ways to Reduce

Reusable Water Bottle

Opt for Reusable Containers

Most plastic is made directly from oil and natural gas, not recycled plastic. When plastic does get recycled, it is often into products that are no longer recyclable. Metal and glass, which are durable and can be recycled infinitely, are always a better container choice.

tap water faucet

Drink Filtered Tap Water

Disposable water bottles are made of plastic #1 and can be avoided by drinking filtered tap water instead. Most bottled water comes from the tap in the first place, and taste tests in cities such as New York have favored tap over bottled water.

Did You Know?

Bottled Water: Is It the Same as Tap?

Most bottled water is simply filtered tap water, and it can cost more than twice as much as what’s available from the tap.

Coke Developed a Recycling Game That Takes Empty Bottles

Coke wanted to see if they could get people to recycle who normally don’t if the process was more fun. They dropped off six “Happiness Arcade” games in six locations around Dhaka, Bangladesh to test their theory. They ended up collecting thousands of bottles.