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[GreenYes] Oregon Bottle Bill Task Force Releases Report


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 report

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 way.
       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."

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