It’s hard to believe that 2020 is just around the corner, which also means that we’re that much closer to Oregon’s statewide plastic bag ban going into effect! That’s right, on January 1, 2020 Oregon will be taking a historic step forward in tackling plastic pollution as House Bill 2509 officially goes into effect. The bill, dubbed as the Sustainable Shopping initiative, bans single-use plastic shopping bags and places a nickel fee on paper bags. As the new year approaches, Surfrider is helping to engage communities, businesses and shoppers in joining their fellow Oregonians preparing for the new law to go into effect and celebrating this small step to break free from single-use plastics!

So January is coming and given some changes will be about and likely questions arising on the new law for some consumers and businesses, the Department of Environmental Quality has posted this handy dandy FAQ for the official interpretation. While the document gives a great run down of the specifics of the new law, it falls a little short on some resources that might help smaller businesses; so, Surfrider Foundation is working on a new Bring Your Bag Toolkit (coming soon!) to help Oregonians get on board with the new law. Surfrider was a strong leader in the statewide campaign to pass the bill and our members and volunteers feel passionately we should support the new law’s successful implementation.

Wanna Help Celebrate? Join the 12 Days Bring Your Bag Social Campaign, download fun ready-to use posts and daily reminders to share with your social network to help them remember their reusable bag!

Press Conference January 2, 2020

Join the bill’s chief sponsor Representative Janeen Sollman, Senator Mark Hass, Surfrider Foundation and Environment Oregon at the New Season’s Market in Cedar Hills to kick off the celebratory event!

When: January 2, 2020 – 9:30am

Where: New Seasons Market, Cedar Hills, 3495 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005

As January approaches, here’s the skinny on what you need to know:

When does Oregon’s Plastic Bag Ban (Sustainable Shopping Initiative) take effect?

January 1, 2020

Will I still be able to get a bag to carry my stuff bro? Yes, but it will not be the flimsy fly away, ocean surfing single–use plastic bag you’re used to seeing, and it will cost you a nickel. Paper bags and other bags plastic bags will be available for a 5 cent fee – best to bring your own!

What about produce bags, hardware parts bags, dry cleaning, etc? You’re good, these will still be available but we do encourage you to consider bringing your own to help avoid! There’s some cool innovations in reusable produce bags and dry cleaning garment bags!

What’s the deal with the fee, where’s that go? HB 2509 requires a charge of at least five cents for any bag given away at checkout, but allows local governments to require higher fees locally. Customers that bring their own bag are exempt, while any other bag given away at checkout will cost at least a nickel. Businesses keep the fee, which allows them to recover costs in providing reusable bags. There are some fee exemptions including: those participating in WIC or SNAP benefit program, paper bags in restaurants, and limited reusable bag promotions.