The Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 545, a piece of legislation that will give consumers and businesses more flexibility to use consumer-owned food containers and reduce waste in Oregon. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support and was introduced and carried by Senator Janeen Sollman, (D-Hillsboro), updates regulations so restaurants can fill consumer-owned containers with food.

“Reducing food container waste is good for our environment,” said Senator Sollman, Chief Sponsor of Senate Bill 545. “This is a simple, sensible change that will encourage a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and generations to come.”

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has already gone through the process to allow consumers to bring reusable food containers to grocery stores.By passing Senate Bill 545, Oregon is taking a common sense next step towards reducing plastic waste and preserving our planet for future generations. Currently, Oregon only recovers 13.7% of plastic waste from landfills or incinerators, falling short of our goal of a 25% recovery rate.

Senate Bill 545 would direct the Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules allowing a restaurant to allow a consumer to fill a consumer-owned container with food. The bill will give consumers the choice to opt-out of single-use plastics, such as straws, utensils, and to-go containers, at restaurants and other food establishments.

The bill now moves to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

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