SALEM, Ore. -- A bill to ban polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups in Oregon, House Bill 2883, was voted down in the Oregon Senate by a vote of 15-14 today.
In response, Environment Oregon state director Celeste Meiffren-Swango released the following statement:
“Today, the Oregon Senate failed to pass a bill banning polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups. This was a disappointing end to a year long campaign where we built a lot of public support for putting wildlife over waste. Unfortunately, we were unable to overcome opposition from the plastics industry and other special interests.
“Nothing we use for ten minutes should be allowed to pollute our environment for hundreds of years. Polystyrene foam doesn’t go away when it enters our rivers, streams and oceans. It breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces that animals -- including birds and sea turtles -- mistake for food. When wildlife consume these plastic particles, they can die.
“Environment Oregon staff working on our Wildlife Over Waste campaign have talked to tens of thousands of Oregonians who support banning polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups. It’s clear that reducing plastic pollution resonates with Oregonians, and we are saddened that the Oregon Senate failed to take action.
“We hope the Oregon Legislature will take the issue back up in the short session next year. In the meantime, we will continue talking to Oregonians about this important issue.”