Oregon lawmakers and advocates celebrate “Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day” in Salem

On the annual Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day in Oregon, advocates hit the halls of Salem to support three bills that would significantly reduce the use of single-use plastics in Oregon and urge Oregon to be a leader in addressing the worldwide plastics crisis.

Staff | TPIN

In 2019, Governor Kate Brown declared March 14th “Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day” in Oregon. This year to mark the occasion, Environment Oregon State Director Celeste Meiffren-Swango joined advocates from Oceana and Surfrider Foundation to call on Oregon Senators to pledge to reduce their own plastic consumption and support three bills aimed at reducing plastic pollution in Oregon:

  • SB 543 would prohibit the use of polystyrene foam foodware including bowls, plates, cups, lids, clamshells, or other containers and prohibit the sale of polystyrene foam packing peanuts and coolers by January 1, 2025. The bill would also prohibit the use of toxic forever chemicals in foodware containers.

  • SB 544 would require producers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging and foodware by 25% by 2030 and move to reusable and refillable packaging.

  • SB 545 would update our health code to enable customers to bring reusable and refillable containers for food.

“Nothing we use for just a few minutes should pollute the environment for hundreds of years,” said Celeste Meiffren-Swango, State Director with Environment Oregon. “The bills that the Oregon legislature is considering this session to reduce plastic pollution would, if passed, help our state rise above plastic pollution and position us as a national leader in tackling this growing environmental issue.” 

All three bills are sponsored by Oregon State Senator Janeen Sollman, who gave a remonstrance on the Senate floor on March 14th on Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day.

Senator Sollman gives remonstrance for Rise Above Plastic Pollution Day

In addition to action on the state level to reduce plastic pollution, there’s a national bill, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in Congress, sponsored by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Senator Merkley joined the call to rise above plastic pollution.

“When it comes to reducing waste, we were taught the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle; however, the reality for plastics is the three Bs: buried, burned, or borne out to sea,” said Senator Merkley, who serves as the Chair of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee on Chemical Safety Waste Management, Environmental Justice and Regulatory Oversight. “Plastic pollution has severe impacts on American’s health, frontline communities, and climate chaos. Oil companies invented a million uses for plastic, now we must design better alternatives—no more single-use plastics. Our kids’ health and futures depend on America leading the way to solve this problem.” 

Oregon: Turn off the plastic tap

Beyond plastic

Oregon: Turn off the plastic tap

Every year it's becoming more and more clear: We need to turn off the plastic tap. Plastic waste is piling up in our landfills, our communities and our environment. Tell your state legislators to work to prevent plastic pollution this year.

Take Action


Show More