Governor Tom McCall signed the Oregon Bottle Bill into law on Friday, July 2, 1971 (The Oregonian, 3-July-1971). Of the bills passed by the 1971 Legislature, the governor signed 782. Two received special, ceremonial treatment and one of those was the bottle bill.
The Oregon Bottle Bill was the first of its kind in the United States. Retailers were banned from selling non-returnable bottles of many carbonated and malt beverages. With a redemption rate of 84%, the bill has done much to reduce littering – since 1971 beverage containers went from 40% to 6% of roadside litter. Recycled container material is used to create many other products (including fleece jackets, carpeting, baseball bats, license plates, and insulation), thus also reducing demand for energy and natural resources.
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