Update on the Bottle Bill

Below is a Press Release from State Rep. Vicki Berger 1-31-07:

BOTTLE BILL UPDATE

There are several proposals before the Legislature to modernize/expand the Oregon’s landmark Bottle Bill. The proposals fall under two categories, modernization and expansion. Modernization would change the way the Bottle Bill currently works. Expansion simply takes key components of the modernization proposal and incorporates them into the current bottle bill law. Below are listed the two main proposals:

Modernization of the existing bottle bill:

– Expand the beverages addressed under the law to include sports drinks, teas, juices, containerized water, wine coolers, wine and liquor. Exclude dairy.
– Increase the refund value to $0.10 for all defined beverage containers and institute a variable handling fee based upon redemption rates and container material type.
– Create a network of independent redemption centers which will maintain convenience and redeem Oregon beverage containers regardless of brand. Allows consumers to return to cans and bottles to a retail store but does not require it.
– Create an oversight commission representative of public and private entities. (a) The Board will create the by-laws designed to meet the goals of the law. For example, setting a beverage container recycling rate goal, determining the use of un-redeemed refunds, enforcing compliance, etc. (b) The Board will receive and distribute funds, license redemption centers and collection companies directly or have the option of contracting these services to a qualified company or non-profit organization.
– Address fraudulent activities by strengthening product labeling and penalties for double redemptions.

Expansion of the existing Bottle Bill:
– Expand the beverages addressed under the law to include bottled water.
– Increase the refund value to $0.10.
– Existing infrastructure continues to handle the current containers and water bottles.
– Deposits remain with distributors, including the unredeemed refund value. Retailer continues to be consumer’s point of container return.

Mark your calendars! I anticipate that hearings on the Bottle Bill will begin in mid to late February. Whether you decide to testify during the hearings or not, I invite you to come be a part of the process. The most effective way of showing your support for the Bottle Bill is to attend the committee hearing(s). If you would like to testify or submit comments for the hearings, please contact my office.

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