Oregon Lawmakers to Weigh Plastic Bag Tax, Straw Ban

The Statesman Journal reports a Senate committee voted to introduce both legislative concepts, or preliminary bills, during an informational hearing Wednesday.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 2:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature will consider a statewide tax on plastic bags and a ban on plastic straws.

The Statesman Journal reports a Senate committee voted to introduce both legislative concepts, or preliminary bills, during an informational hearing Wednesday.

Both bills would help reduce plastic waste that ends up in landfills and the environment.

"From our perspective, nothing we use for 10 minutes should pollute the environment for hundreds of years," said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, state director of Environment Oregon.

One would impose a 5 cent per bag tax on single-use plastic bags used by retail stores selling food or alcohol, and require the establishments to provide paper checkout bags.

The tax wouldn't apply to meat and vegetable bags, or other non-checkout bags. And customers who use vouchers and state benefit cards would be exempt.

Money collected would go to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, for a new Plastic Clean-Up and Recycling Fund.

Fourteen Oregon cities have banned single-use plastic bags.

The Legislature previously considered banning plastic bags, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. All three bills died in committee.

This is the first time a tax, rather than a ban, has been proposed. Because the bill would raise revenue, it would require a three-fifths majority approval.

Another measure would prohibit restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to customers unless they request a straw.

The proposal specifically exempts straws made from sugar cane, pasta and some other natural ingredients.

Violators could be fined up to $25 per day, with a cap of $300 per year.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356061

Reported Deaths: 4275
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55695704
Washington38673322
Marion36719454
Clackamas29660309
Lane27624302
Jackson22982310
Deschutes20211125
Umatilla14451150
Linn12780130
Douglas12065243
Josephine9349196
Yamhill8674113
Klamath7965118
Polk733681
Malheur561776
Benton546531
Coos501294
Columbia379744
Jefferson372352
Union318449
Lincoln318039
Crook287546
Wasco287441
Clatsop243329
Baker202529
Tillamook196432
Hood River192137
Morrow184423
Curry180025
Harney113726
Grant100013
Lake92412
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4842472

Reported Deaths: 71202
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148181426506
Riverside3712935030
San Diego3660564183
San Bernardino3582135663
Orange3241845550
Sacramento1593332308
Kern1459621644
Fresno1458772084
Santa Clara1453911896
Alameda1205301400
San Joaquin1025821721
Ventura1009841166
Contra Costa998841008
Stanislaus860701331
Tulare80203967
San Francisco54375646
San Mateo54112622
Monterey50885587
Solano46021341
Santa Barbara45160523
Merced42299581
Sonoma40925402
Placer39342425
Imperial35999766
Kings32801322
San Luis Obispo29945332
Madera23876285
Shasta23851352
Butte23738270
Santa Cruz21018220
Yolo20353248
Marin17692244
El Dorado17169149
Sutter13913175
Napa12882100
Yuba1008582
Tehama9510110
Humboldt9243108
Nevada914290
Mendocino763687
Lassen754347
San Benito744472
Tuolumne688089
Lake6605104
Amador544064
Siskiyou450546
Glenn436733
Calaveras389381
Del Norte358342
Colusa307218
Inyo211140
Mono16703
Plumas16417
Mariposa133416
Trinity87711
Modoc6865
Sierra1880
Unassigned1820
Alpine1030
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