Container deposit advocates (and opponents)
will be interested to know that the Oregon Bottle Bill Task
Force created by SB 707 released its final report with recommendations for
updating the nation’s oldest bottle bill to the state legislature last
week. The article below is from the October 17th issue of
Resource Recycling’s Plastics
Recycling Update. A key recommendation is expansion of the
existing law to include not only bottled water but all non-carbonated beverages
as well as wine and liquor containers.
Zero Waste advocates take note…..the Task
Force recommended that the legislature support a proposed goal for the return
rate of 80 percent….so much for Zero Beverage Container Waste.
Bottle-bill task force releases
Oregon may end
up with a 10-cent refund value for beverage containers and an overhaul of the
state's redemption centers if the Oregon Bottle Bill Task Force (BBTF) gets its
The BBTF, this week, released its recommendations for the expansion of the Beaver State's
beverage-container redemption system, mandated by Senate Bill 707. The 2007 bill expanded Oregon's first-in-the-nation measure by
adding a five-cent beverage container deposit to water and flavored water
beverage containers — and by defining water and flavored water for the
measure — as well as creating the nine-member BBTF. The task force was
directed to study and make recommendations regarding a host of issues
surrounding the potential for bottle-bill extension.
The first and unanimous recommendation of
the BBTF is to have the legislature adopt the industry-proposed suggestion that
it create a network of 90 redemption centers around Oregon. The centers would be funded by scrap
sales and unredeemed container deposits — with some industry backing
— and would be operated with a new beverage recycling co-op.
The task force further recommended
increasing the redemption value of beverage containers to 10 cents effective
January 1, 2011, to boost redemption rates. The report notes that the state
with the nation's highest redemption rate for beer and soft drinks — Michigan, with greater
than 90 percent — has the 10-cent deposit level.
Other recommendations of the BBTF include:
- Further expanding the bottle bill to include
sports drinks, coffees, teas, juices, wines, liquors and other beverages,
except for milk or milk substitutes, effective January 1, 2013
- Having the state collect the value of unredeemed
bottles if the industry-run redemption center plan fails
- Limiting the redemption of beverage containers
purchased out of state.
Not all of the recommendations were unanimous, however,
with representatives on the task force of the retail, bottled water and soft
drink bottling industries offering a minority report, which highlights some of the political
challenges the expanded bottle bill faces.
The report notes that expanding the bottle
bill to include bottled water could damage the viability of the existing
deposit system and that its proposed Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative
could help with implementation. The minority group feels that it is
"premature to call for more dramatic changes to the deposit law,"
including the recommended expansion as well as calling for further evaluation
in light of "more efficient recycling systems that exist and the impact
the bottle bill has on these systems."