Plastic bag ban bill takes big turn

Representative Gilliam Offers Replacement Bill To ‘Plastic Bag Ban’
By State Representative Vic Gilliam

Creates ‘Oregon Plastic Bag Recycling Goals’ to increase recycling and avoid bag ban
Salem – Rep. Gilliam today offered Chair Rosenbaum amendments to SB 536, removing the immediate ban on plastic bags and proposing ‘Oregon Plastic Bag Recycling Goals.’ Gilliam asked Chair Rosenbaum to schedule an immediate public hearing and work session.

“I believe the majority of Oregonians agree with me that plastic bags are a problem. I also have heard from my constituents that the first step to addressing this problem must be recycling, not an outright ban, and especially not new taxes or fees on plastic bags,” states Gilliam.

Gilliam’s amendments offer realistic and achievable recycling goals for single-use plastic checkout bags in Oregon. The first year of implementation will require manufactures providing Oregon retailers with plastic checkout bags to recycle 20% of all bags sold in Oregon.

“This approach makes sense to me.” states Gilliam. “The plastic bag industry is located outside Oregon and employs no one here. By their own admission and repeated high profile media blitzes plastic baggers proclaim that rather than a ban the answer is recycling. My amendments offer bag manufacturers a real chance to prove their point and embrace a common ground solution. I am setting forth a realistic and fair recycling goal for plastic bags. In addition we take a step to ease consumer convenience, protect consumer choice – while warding off local attempts to tax or add fees to plastic bags,” continued Gilliam.

Main components of amendments:
• Establishes Oregon Plastic Bag Recycling Goals for plastic bags sold in Oregon
– 20% by 2012
– 40% by 2013
– 60% by 2014
– 80% by 2015 and every year thereafter
• Gradually increases recycling goals annually to allow for market change
• Requires manufacturer of plastic bags to report annually two numbers:
– Number of plastic checkout bags sold to Oregon retailers
– Number of plastic bags required to meet Oregon recycling rates

• Adopts incentive that if these attainable plastic bag recycling goals are consistently met a statewide plastic bag ban is avoided.


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