May 24, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Democrats Lead House to Historic Expansion
of Oregon Bottle Bill
water bottles will now carry Oregon's five cent container
SALEM—House Democrats fought
successfully today to bring Oregon's landmark "Bottle Bill"
into the 21st century with the approval of Senate
Bill 707, which adds plastic bottles used for water and
flavored water to those that will carry a five cent recycling
"More than thirty years ago
Oregon seized the opportunity to create a landmark piece
of Oregon that not only affirmed Oregon's commitment to
the environment, but also defined our state's ingenuity
for decades," said State Representative Peter Buckley
(D-Ashland). "Today's vote reaffirms a visionary
law that has been, and will continue to be, a source of
pride for Oregonians."
Democrats say the bill is needed because
the original Bottle Bill only included malt beverage and
carbonated beverage containers. Oregonians are currently
throwing away 126 million empty water bottles each year.
Adding water bottles to the Bottle Bill, Democrats say,
has the potential to increase the recycling of millions
more beverage containers, keep millions of containers out
of landfills and conserve energy and resources.
"When I speak with constituents,
I'm often asked why we're not going even further with this
expansion at this time," said State Representative
Ben Cannon (D-Portland). "Part of what I tell them
is it doesn't take very long in the legislature before you
become thankful for 'small blessings.' We've had thirty-six
years without expansion so it is incredibly significant
that we are doing something now. The other thing I tell
them is: 'Let's keep working on it.'"
In addition to adding the five cent
deposit to water bottles, the will also create a task force
to consider other recommended changes to the current Bottle
Bill, such as expansion to include juice containers, tea
and sports drinks, and report back to the Legislature on
ways to improve its efficiency and convenience.
"The original Bottle Bill helped
begin Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship,"
said Speaker Pro Tempore Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland).
"Today, we honor the efforts of those who led the
effort decades ago while also bringing their accomplishments
into the 21st century."
Oregon's bottle bill was originally passed in 1971 and at
the time was the first of its kind in the nation and increased
recycling in Oregon by 80 percent.
Following the vote House Majority Leader
Dave Hunt (D-Clackamas County) said, "Today's vote
is a tangible example of the difference Democratic leadership
makes. For years House Republican Leadership blocked this
common sense reform that so many Oregonians support. Today,
Democrats got it done."
The bill was amended in the House so
it now moves to the Senate for concurrence before receiving
the signature of the Governor.