Oregon expands returnable law to include most beverages
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June 14 — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed an expansion of the state’s bottle recycling law on June 9 that will include juices, teas, coffee and sports drinks not previously covered by the original law.

The law would also increase the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents if the redemption rate is below 80% for two consecutive years.

“Oregon is a national leader when it comes to recycling in large part because of our pioneering bottle deposit system,” said Sen. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland, in a statement. “Even with our national reputation, we can do better. Our rate of redemption was once as high as 90%, but today that number has dropped to 75%.”

Originally passed in 1971 as the country’s first bottle return law, Oregon’s bottle bill has resulted in the return of more than 3 billion containers, a report from the state Senate said.

The law will go into effect no later than 2018 and will include most beverages sold in the state, with the exception of wine, liquor, milk and infant formula. The jump to 10 cents per bottle cannot occur before 2017.

The measure passed, 47-12, in the state House of Representatives on May 4 and the Senate, 19-11, on May 25.

The law was previously amended in 2007 to include bottled water. A total of 11 states have bottle return laws, and only Michigan has a deposit of 10 cents per container.

Contact Waste & Recycling News reporter Jeremy Carroll at 313-446-6780 or jcarroll@crain.com.

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