SB582 To Reinvent Recycling

On August 6, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 582, which will simplify the recycling process for Oregonians. The Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act will not only require companies to contribute toward recycling costs, but also require recycling accessibility for difficult items.  

“That might be through recycling collection events throughout the state, drop-off locations, return to retail — taking things back to the grocery store, Sanne Sienstra, Oregon Department of Environment Equality resource specialist, told OPB. 

The act will also generate signage clarity, such as improved “chasing arrow” symbols, when labeling plastics.  

“The chasing arrows with the numbers inside only designate what kind of plastic a product is made from, not whether or not it can be recycled locally. So this creates a lot of confusion amongst customers and we’re hoping this truth in labeling task force will be able to clear this up,” Kristin Leichner, chair for the Association of Recyclers, also commented to OPB. Leichner explained that, thanks to the bill, a 15-member “truth in labeling” task force has been built in order to accomplish this goal.  

In addition, the bill will introduce an Oregon collection list, educate Oregonians on recycling, improve collection facilities, and provide more recycling accessibility.  

SB 582 will become Oregon policy in 2022, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality predicts the Oregon recycling rate will grow by 17% as a result. However, this number will not likely be reflected until 2025 at the earliest.  

By: Rebekah Harcrow