Plastic pollution is not a joke. It is killing marine life, land animals, and damaging our oceans. The ocean not only hosts multiple diverse ecosystems, but we need it to survive. Thankfully, pepople are realizing the urgency of the situation and taking action. A few months ago, New York became the second state to ban plastic bags after California. Canada recently announced their plan to ban single-use plastic by 2021.
Even retailers are listening to the demands of customers who care about the planet. Whole Foods is eliminating plastic straws from all their stores and Trader Joe’s has come up with ways to reduce plastic packaging. Now, Oregon is making a huge difference by banning plastic bags and straws!
Governor Kate Brown signed Bills HB 2509 and SB 90. The former bans single-use checkout bags from retail establishments and requires that at least five cents be charged at checkout for recycled paper bags, reusable fabric checkout bags, or reusable plastic checkout bags. Bags for produce, meat, and fish are not included. But as people become accustomed to bringing their own checkout bags, they can also begin using reusable produce bags.
The second bill signed (SB 90) bans restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws. It has become known that plastic straws may be necessary for those with disabilities, so don’t worry, they’ll still be available upon request only.
The bans on plastic bags and straws in Oregon go into effect as soon as January 2020!