Friday, January 16, 2009

Throw it away? No way!

Earlier this week an editorial ran in a local newspaper stating that the OLCC was suggesting or requiring retailers to throw bottled water not marked with the OR 5-cent refund value in the trash.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While the OLCC is asking all retailers to make sure their products are labeled correctly, we have never told, suggested or implied that retailers take such drastic measures as putting the unmarked product in the garbage. As the editorial suggests, that would be environmentally contradictory of the whole essence of the Oregon Bottle Bill. OLCC takes its enforcement obligations of the Bottle Bill very seriously.

During the last year and a half the OLCC has been working with the water industry to come up with solutions before the January 1st deadline. Some of the solutions presented to the manufacturers and vendors were stamping, affixing stickers or embossing "OR 5¢" somewhere plainly visible on the container.

It has always been the goal of the OLCC to provide education and assistance to retailers to help bring them into compliance. Fortunately, over the last two weeks, many retailers have made outstanding efforts to sell only containers marked with the OR 5-cent refund value.

We very much appreciate the efforts of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers in their efforts to further enhance Oregon's leading role in environmental stewardship, and we are proud of our role in that partnership.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Are businesses watering down Oregon's new bottle bill law?

Oregonians are finding that many retailers and manufacturers haven’t made the change to selling only bottled water labeled with the OR 5¢ refund value. And recent OLCC checks show that several brands on the shelves are still unmarked.

Under the new law, water bottles sold in Oregon as of Jan. 1 must be marked with a 5¢ refund value. Only bottles with the OR 5¢ designation are eligible for the 5-cent redemption.

This becomes a problem for consumers when they are charged a nickel deposit for a bottle not labeled appropriately and then they can’t get their deposit back from a retailer.

Inspectors will be checking retailers around the state beginning the week of Jan. 12 to see if the water bottles on the shelves have the appropriate OR 5¢ designation. Business owners who do not comply with the bottle bill could be cited with a Class A Misdemeanor.

Consumers are urged to email the OLCC at bottle.bill@state.or.us or call the OLCC’s Bottle Bill hotline at #1-888-h2o-2009 (1-888-426-2009) to report bottle bill violations.

For more information on the Oregon’s Bottle Bill including frequently asked questions, and what retailers and consumer need to know, visit our web page www.oregon.gov/OLCC.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Water bottles added to Oregon's Bottle Bill

Bottled water and flavored water have been added to the list of containers that can now be redeemed for the 5¢ deposit.

As of Jan. 1, the kinds (types) of containers that will be included in Oregon’s Bottle Bill are:

  • Water/flavored water
  • Beer/malt beverages
  • Soda water/mineral water
  • Carbonated soft drinks

All redeemable containers must be labeled with the OR 5¢ deposit on the label and only containers purchased in Oregon are eligible for a 5¢ redemption.

Another change requires larger retail outlets of 5,000 square feet take back bottle and can returns of all brands and sizes of beverage containers for each kind (type) they sell.

If you have questions about these changes, or anything related to the Bottle Bill, call OLCC's Bottle Bill Hotline: 1-888-426-2009.

You can also find more information on the web: OLCC's Bottle Bill Website.