SB 581/HB 2815 recyclable symbol

02/11/2021
SB 581 VOTE: NO
In Committee
Public Hearing 02/23/2021 1:00pm
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB581
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/SEE/Overview

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This bill prohibits sale of products that make deceptive or misleading claims about recyclability by the symbol on the product. Subject up to $25,000 fine per day. (same as HB 2815)

Personal Choice and Responsibility
The symbol includes a number, ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle. While you may think nothing of these symbols, they can actually offer a great deal of information regarding the toxic chemicals used in the plastic, how likely the plastic is to leach, how bio-degradable the plastic is, and ultimately the safety of the plastic. Plastic #1 is recycled into tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, fiber, and polar fleece. Plastic #2 is typically opaque and picked up by most curbside recycling programs. This plastic is one of the 3 plastics considered to be safe, and has a lower risk of leaching, such as milk jugs. Plastic #3 is used to make food wrap, plumbing pipes, and detergent bottles, and is seldom accepted by curbside recycling programs. Numbers 4-7 are various plastics that can be reused and recycled. Educating consumers on the number system and how to recycle each is more productive.

Limited Government
Overreach of government. Every county has different levels of recycling. The “Chasing arrows symbol” simply means it is recyclable if the county is equipped to recycle which ever number appears in the triangle. Packaging labels and recycling symbols help us to identify how different types of packaging can be recycled. The answer isn’t a one size fits all answer with a heavy fine.

Local Control
Centralizing all counties to one recycling requirement could be expensive for some counties.

Free Markets
It puts manufacturers in a tough position to label to fit all counties and multiple states. Adding a label that the product may not be accepted for recycling solves nothing, and would lead to all products having meaningless words.

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