Oregon has led the way in recycling in the US for decades, but it’s time for an upgrade to our 40-year-old recycling system. Which is why we support Senate Bill 582A, the Recycling Modernization Act — a bill that will fix many of the urgent problems that currently plague our aging recycling system, and help address the plastic crisis in the state and globally. Will you tell your state legislators to vote YES on the Recycling Modernization Act?
The state must act now to prevent another generation of recycling programs that lack transparency and accountability, and can’t guarantee the environmental outcomes that community members across the state expect and deserve. The Recycling Modernization Act is the product of two years of work from a diverse group of stakeholders, and we cannot afford to miss the opportunity to make urgent updates to our recycling system in Oregon.
The Recycling Modernization Bill increases transparency, and makes producers formally responsible for what happens to their packaging, including paper and foodservice items at the end of their usable life. When this bill passes it will be the first time brands and manufacturers will be invested in making sure Oregon’s recycling programs can properly handle the packaging they put into our state, and will incentivize companies to reduce the overall environmental burden of their packaging when it is designed.
This comprehensive legislation will set up Oregon for success in recycling, waste prevention, and litter prevention for many generations to come. SB 582A is an adaptable and forward-thinking approach that will achieve many important outcomes not only for our recycling programs but also for the full lifecycle of materials, including:
- By sharing responsibility with producers, it sets up a stable funding model that no longer requires ratepayers to heavily subsidize waste produced by private manufacturing.
- Helps prevent plastic pollution in oceans and rivers before it starts – both by providing $10 million annually for litter prevention and management programs, and preventing the sale and shipping of contaminated recyclables overseas.
- Promotes equity by paying essential recycling facility workers a living wage.
- Ensure everyone across the state – whether they live a stone’s throw from a recycling center or 200 miles away – can recycle easily, conveniently and for the same cost as their neighbors.