HB 2365: Sweeping to-go plastic ban on restaurants amidst pandemic

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Sweeping Proposed Plastic Ban Hits Struggling Restaurants Admidst Pandemic

The Oregon Legislature is set to convene on January 21st, 2021 with over 3000 bills introduced for consideration. Among them, a new statewide ban on single-use plastic forks and other single-use utensils used for serving or consuming food in Oregon.

Introduced by Representative Maxine Dexter (D-Portland), House Bill 2365 prohibits restaurants and other food service providers from using or distributing plastic serve ware to a consumer unless the serve ware is made entirely of fiber based materials, is readily compostable or recyclable, or is specifically requested by the consumer. The ban includes; bowls, plates, cups, lids, straws, forks, spoons, knives, chopsticks, clamshells and other items used for serving, containing or consuming food. Additionally, new sanitation requirements for reusable items would apply. Violations may cost food service providers $25 per day, up to $300 per calendar year.

House Bill 2365 also notes a ban on perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances. These substances of often used in items such as pizza box liners, to prevent grease from soaking through cardboard materials. Violations of this section could result in heavy fines upwards of $10,000.

In September 2020, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis found that demand and revenue for Oregon’s bars and restaurants were down over 56%. House Bill 2365 creates new regulations and potential costs for the industry hardest hit by the COVID19 pandemic. If passed, the single-use plastic ban would go into effect June 2022, with other parts of the bill rolling out as late as 2024.

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