A bill in the state legislature may make Oregon the first state in the country to ban the material polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam. House Bill 2883 would ban use of the material entirely, from restaurants, supermarkets and food carts.
On Monday April 22, Oregon House Democrats narrowly failed to pass the bill when seven of their members voted against the ban. After a “procedural move” to keep the bill alive overnight into Tuesday, Democrats managed to pick up two additional votes. One legislator returned to Salem from an absence to vote yes, and another decided to change their vote from no to yes, which was enough for it to pass the House. It now heads to the Oregon Senate.
This is one of three bills introduced recently to cut back on volume of single-use plastics used in Oregon. House bill 2509 seeks to ban plastic bags, and Senate Bill 90 targets plastic straws.
The city of Portland already has a ban on styrofoam takeout containers.
By Ian MacRonald