In the final weeks of Oregon’s 80th Legislative Assembly, the Senate floor convened today and debated two bills – HB 2509 Oregon’s plastic bag ban and HB 2883 a polystyrene food container ban. The plastic bag bill passed the Senate floor with a vote of 17-12. The heartbreaker was the polystyrene bill which received support 15-14, but the Senate requires a constitutional majority of 16, thus one more vote was required and the bill failed…when winning is still failing, tough to swallow. The bills represented premiere statewide plastic pollution campaigns for Surfrider chapters in Oregon this legislative session. The plastic bag bill bill (HB 2509) now goes on to the Governor’s office for signing. Another plastic pollution bill, SB 90 also passed the week prior, but failed to receive Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups’ support, more on that here.
Having engaged in many local plastic bag ordinances at the municipal level for over a decade, the statewide bill represents a significant victory for Surfrider chapters in Oregon that have put in tireless educational, campaign and programmatic outreach efforts across the state. A massive shout out to all of our volunteers, from the humble beginnings of this campaign over a decade ago at a Surfrider Chapter meeting to the hundreds of volunteer hours engaged in outreach, beach cleanups, city council meetings and eventually to the Capitol…three times – fourth time is the charm for Oregon – get the full story here on our national page!