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

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

Up in the Air

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON

Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


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