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Ban On Single-Use Plastic Checkout Bags Expands Statewide

Chris Lehman

A new law taking effect January 1 in Oregon will ban single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants.

More than a dozen Oregon cities already have a ban in place, including Eugene, Salem and Portland. Now, that ban will extend statewide.

Charlie Plybon is the Oregon policy manager for Surfrider Foundation, a group that advocated for the new law. He said it’s been nearly a decade since the idea was first floated at the legislature. “I’m actually pretty proud that Oregon waited until we had enough cities and enough interest around the state to really get strong buy-in," he said. "I think that makes stronger policy, and it will create a smoother path for implementation.”

Plybon said single-use plastic bags harm the environment and are a major source of litter. Stores can still provide paper bags to customers, but the measure requires them to charge at least five cents per bag.

House Bill 2509 was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in June. The Oregon DEQ has created a web page to help consumers understand the new regulations.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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