Bottle bill changes uncork opposition

| Print |  Email
Monday, December 01, 2008

STATEWIDE When Oregon became the first state in the nation to pass a bottle bill in 1971, the program built swiftly into a success, with a recovery rate of more than 90%. But a nickel isn’t worth what it used to be. These days beverage distributors collect $16 million per year in unclaimed deposits because Oregon’s redemption rate has dropped to 78%.

A state-appointed task force recommends boosting deposits to 10 cents, including everything from bottled coffee to fifths of bourbon and building 90 new bottle return facilities statewide. Steve Apotheker, a recycling expert for Metro regional government, says the updates are certain to result in higher recovery rates.

At first glance it would seem an easy green vote in a legislative session where it will be easy being green. But the beverage industry is pushing back, hiring lobbyists to argue that new costs will be passed onto consumers and higher volumes will clog the system.

“You have to believe there are more efficient and creative ways to get people to recycle,” says Steve Emery, CEO of EARTH2O, a water bottling company in Central Oregon. “Especially when we’ve got recycling trucks that come to your curbside every week.”

The 42-employee EARTH2O is already adapting to a new mandate starting in January to charge deposits for bottled water, and Emery is not looking forward to additional rule changes and costs. Apotheker counters that if Oregon doesn’t modernize the system it will continue to decline. Legislators will be hearing more from both sides come January.               

BEN JACKLET


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

More Articles

The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened a third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; a Bend outpost broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Wildcards

Guest Blog
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
072815fergusonthumbBY JASON NORRIS

Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.


Read more...

Child care challenge

News
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Read more...

Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS