Oregon has overhauled its bottle bill for the second time in the past four years, and transformed it into the most extensive bottle bill in the U.S., with the addition of virtually all on-the-go beverages that range in size from 4 ounces to 1.5 liters, starting no later than Jan. 1, 2018.
The current bill applies a nickel deposit only to bottles for soft drinks, beer, water and flavored water. The expanded bottle ban, approved May 25 by the Senate, will include bottles for non-carbonated juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, coffees, teas and most other on-the-go beverages. The exceptions: Deposits won't apply to dairy products, infant formula, liquor and wines.
Bottles for water and flavored water were added to the Oregon bottle-deposit system in 2009 because of a law passed in May 2007. The expansion of the bill, HB 3145 is awaiting the signature of Gov. John Kitzhaber. As with the original bill, which was passed in 1971, the expansion applies to plastic, glass and metal containers, bottles and cans.
“It is very, very good that Oregon is taking this step to expand” its bottle bill, said Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute in Culver City, Calif. “It will lead to higher recycling rates for the new containers that are being added and for the other beverage containers as well.”
“It gets us more material,” said Steve Alexander, executive director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, based in Washington.
HB 3145 also critically creates the framework for shifting the return of the majority of bottles from stores to off-site beverage redemption centers —- which the Northwest Grocery Association said is crucial because it allows the grocery industry to plan for the needed investment in beverage-bottle redemption centers.