The Oregon Legislature recently passed the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act (Senate Bill 582) to overhaul Oregon’s recycling system by building on local community programs and leveraging the resources of producers to create a “shared responsibility” system.
According to an Oregon press release, the state’s recycling system has faced economic challenges and uncertainty. In 2018, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) convened a group of recycling system stakeholders – including local governments, recycling industry businesses, and other experts – to study these issues and propose a solution.
The new measure plots a significant overhaul of state policy that will modernize Oregon’s recycling system by creating programs that optimize environmental benefits, restore public trust, and are more resilient to change. As part of the system, producers of packaging, paper products, and food serviceware will fund necessary upgrades and perform specific functions that will make Oregon’s recycling programs convenient, accessible, and reliable.
Oregon DEQ will lead implementation of the Recycling Modernization Act, while local governments will maintain their role overseeing collection and education in their communities. More information about DEQ’s implementation plan will be available in the coming months. Check the website for updates.