In June 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 582. This bill essentially ensured that producers would have to meet recycling standards. To quote Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), “SB 582 requires producers of paper, plastic and other materials to fund new initiatives aimed at collecting and recycling more of their materials — whether via existing programs or new efforts. That includes paying for educational campaigns to help consumers better understand recycling, helping upgrade existing recycling facilities, and paying for things like trucks and new containers to help local governments expand their recycling offerings.”
At the moment, the cost burden of recycling is being pushed onto Oregon consumers and the local governments. Some other functions of Senate Bill 582 include: • Tasks the State’s Environmental Quality Commission with creating an official list of material that can be collected through a “commingled” recycling program, where different products are collected in the same bin. The commission also determines which materials should be collected on their own by a producer group.
• Sets State goals that 25% of covered plastic products be recycled by 2028; 50% be recycled by 2040; and 70% be recycled by 2050. If those goals aren’t met, producer responsibility organizations must make changes to meet them, and the state could assign penalties.
• Creates a 15-member “truth in labeling” task force to “study and evaluate misleading or confusing claims regarding the recyclability of products made on a product or product packaging.” Earlier recycling reform proposals would have required producers to scrap the “chasing arrows” that signals a product can be recycled if that packaging could not be recycled in Oregon, but the provision was weakened.
• Requires local governments and DEQ to take steps to improve access to recycling programs in apartment buildings and condominiums
To learn more, refer to the OPB article listed here!
Oregon hopes to revamp its recycling system by charging packaging companies – OPB