Oregon’s Bottle Bill: A Battle between Conservation and Convenience

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Title: Oregon’s Bottle Bill: A Battle between Conservation and Convenience
Author: Bacon, Richard
Abstract: In 1971, the Oregon legislature, reflecting the state’s growing environmental consciousness, passed the Minimum Deposit Act, more commonly known as the “Bottle Bill.” The bill sought to combat litter by eliminating the non-returnable beverage container. It also implemented a deposit on other types of containers. Controversy engulfed the act from its creation. The bottling industry, fearing reduced sales and increased production costs, mobilized against the bill. Labor organizations also opposed it, fearing that jobs in container manufacturing would be lost. Supermarkets worried it would cause overcrowding in their facilities. They argued that they would not be able to maintain an organized and sanitary environment within their stores. Yet, despite all this opposition, the bill was passed because of overwhelming public support. Was the legislature right to pass the bill? In other words, did the bill’s benefits outweigh its costs? Despite arguments to the contrary, it is evident that the Bottle Bill had a beneficial effect on the state’s environment and was, in the words of Governor Tom McCall, “a rip-roaring success.”
Description: Submitted to the Undergraduate Library Research Award scholarship competition: 2005. Awarded an honorable mention scholarship. 24 p. Paper versions also available for check out or consultation in the University of Oregon's library under the call number: KFO2635.B4 B33 2005.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/2505
Date: 2005

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