STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 12:09 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.

The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has adopted, because of the potential for cross-contamination with pathogens or allergens.

But pressure to change state regulations has been mounting, state officials said, following China's decision in January 2018 to stop allowing many items from the U.S. to be imported for recycling.

Since then, Oregonians have thrown away more than 16,000 tons of previously recyclable items, much of them single-use plastics like take-out containers.

"People are looking for ways to reduce the waste stream," said Isaak Stapleton, Food Safety Program director for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Calls for a rule change intensified after the state cracked down on a program at First Alternative Co-op in Corvallis, which had for years been washing containers returned by customers and offering them for reuse. Its customers submitted a petition to state regulators.

Oregon is starting with a look at rules for grocery stores, which ODA licenses and inspects.

Rule changes for restaurants likely will soon follow, said Dave Martin, Foodborne Illness Prevention Program coordinator at the Oregon Health Authority. OHA licenses and inspects restaurants, through county health departments.

Not all retailers are on board, though.

At an ODA-led meeting in August, grocery chain representatives worried about cross-contamination, and pointed out additional concerns.

Among them: The possibility of theft if the containers aren't clear; consumers using containers not meant to be used multiple times; and problems getting an accurate tare weight, or the weight of the container before it's filled.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 11851

Reported Deaths: 232
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah282472
Marion183153
Washington181520
Umatilla9877
Clackamas95527
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Malheur3021
Lane2943
Deschutes2520
Yamhill1949
Jackson1780
Linn17410
Polk17312
Jefferson1630
Morrow1381
Klamath1351
Wasco1161
Benton1126
Hood River1040
Douglas600
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Coos540
Columbia480
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa140
Baker110
Curry90
Sherman40
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 84°
Brookings
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
Crater Lake
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 83°
Grants Pass
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 83°
Sunny & seasonal Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events