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Bill to ban nips in Rhode Island draws mixed reviews

A shelve is stocked with nips at Airport Liquors in Warwick. (WJAR)
A shelve is stocked with nips at Airport Liquors in Warwick. (WJAR)
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Nips have lined the counters of liquor stores for decades, but a newly introduced bill in Rhode Island could change that.

Democratic state Rep. David Bennett introduced the bill to reduce nip bottles littering the state.

Some liquor store owners and managers are for the bill, while others are not.

Biagio Diuccio owns Aiport Liquors in Warwick. He and his wife have done litter pickups in the state. He said nips accounted for more than half of the litter they collected.

"You see these things littering the road and it's disheartening, it's really time, it needs to go," said Diuccio.

He said that the ban on nips would benefit the community, creating a cleaner Rhode Island.

"In the long run, people could drink a little less because they have more of a visual on what they're drinking I feel, and two it would be a lot better for the environment," said Diuccio. "Some of those small lakes and ponds out towards where I live out near Exeter are loaded with these things and they don't go away, so personally, I'd be happy to see them go."

NBC 10 News walked down a few streets and noticed nips along the way.

In Providence, Broadway Liquors owner Sal Saliba is not a fan of the measure.

"That's the business lately, last five, six years, everybody into nips because they're cheap and people try to save money and they don't want to drink big bottles to control themselves," said Saliba. "I understand that people doing it when they buy it when they drive and drink it, that's bad but that's the business now -- 20 percent of business nips."

The bill seeks to ban plastic containers with less than 100 milliliters of alcohol.

Saliba said he is fine without the nips, but only after 100 milliliters go, too.

"100 milliliters and nips and go after Connecticut and Massachusetts. If Connecticut and Massachusetts stop completely, we don't mind because people will buy big sizes," said Saliba. "But if they're going to stop only nips it's not going to make any difference because people are going to switch to 100 milliliters."

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