House Bill (HB) 2509, called the Sustainable Shopping Initiative, was passed in the 2019 Oregon legislative session.
The bill “prohibits retail stores and restaurants from providing single-use checkout bags to customers, and places restrictions on other checkout bags they may provide.”
After January 1, 2020, a retail store or restaurant may provide only reusable or recycled paper checkout bags to customers.
- Single-use checkout bag – A bag made of paper, plastic, or other material that is provided to a customer at the time of checkout, and that does not meet the definition of recycled paper checkout bag, reusable fabric checkout bag, or reusable plastic checkout bag.
- Reusable Plastic Checkout Bag – A bag with handles, designed and manufactured to be used multiple times, and made of durable plastic that is at least 4 mils thick.
- Reusable Fabric Checkout Bag – A bag with handles, designed and manufactured to be used multiple times, and made of cloth or other machine-washable fabric.
- Recycled Paper Checkout Bag – A paper bag made of at least 40% postconsumer recycled fiber.
The new law repeals ORS 459A.695, which required retail stores providing plastic checkout bags to offer paper bags as an alternative.
Why is this important?
When plastic bags end up in recycling bins, they can contaminate the recycling stream and endanger the safety of workers who must untangle them from recycling equipment. This is also a positive first step towards addressing the large amount of plastic debris in the oceans, which threatens Oregon’s marine wildlife.
HB 2509 generally preempts, or overrides, any existing local bag policy.
You can learn more from this handout developed by the Oregon DEQ