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Plastic Recycling May 08, 2023 03:00:24 PM

Oregon State House Declares War on Modern Plastics

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Both bills now head to Gov. Tina Kotek’s desk for her signature.

Oregon State House Declares War on Modern Plastics

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): PFAS or “forever chemicals” has been found in the blood of nearly every American, including newborn babies. Senate Bill 543 and Senate Bill 545 are significant steps forward in reducing plastic pollution.

The Oregon state House passed two bills with bipartisan support to address the growing environmental and public health impacts of single-use plastics. Both bills now head to Gov. Tina Kotek’s desk for her signature. 

Senate Bill 543 will phase out polystyrene foam foodware, packing peanuts and coolers and prohibit the use of PFAS, the toxic substances nicknamed “forever chemicals” because of their longevity, in food packaging starting January 1, 2025. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 40-18.

Senate Bill 545 instructs the Oregon Health Authority to update the state’s health code to make it easier for restaurants to provide reusable container options. This bill cleared the House by a vote of 38-18.

On February 2, 2023 the Oregon Department of Agriculture officially adopted new rules enabling grocery stores, small co-ops and other retail establishments to offer sanitary reusable containers and refill systems.

Senate Bill 545 directs the Oregon Health Authority to undergo similar rulemaking to allow Oregon restaurants, and their customers, to do the same.

Although the subject may appear to not have any relation with fishermen and the fishing industry, it does: according to Tara Brock, Oceana’s Pacific counsel based in Portland, “plastics are overwhelming our oceans, killing marine life, and devastating ecosystems. The only way to head off this crisis is to start reducing the amount of plastic we create, use and throw away, and to start doing that as quickly as possible.”

 Courtesy: www.nationalfisherman.com

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