Merkley to Chair Hearing Examining Beverage Container Waste

Chairman Continues Series of Hearings Investigating Plastic Production and Pollution

 Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, September 28 at 10:00 am Eastern, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley will chair a subcommittee hearing to explore options to improve the domestic collection of single-use beverage containers, such as Oregon’s deposit return bottle program. This hearing is the next in a series of hearings Merkley is holding in the Subcommittee on Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversight to investigate plastic production and pollution and its effects on human health, the climate, and the environment.

 “Oregon started the first statewide bottle recycling program and now regularly has a bottle return rate of between 80 and 90 percent, and nine other states have deposit return systems that allow folks to recycle their used containers,” said Sen. Merkley, who is chairing a series of hearings investigating plastic production and disposal. “A nationwide deposit return program would create jobs, cut the cost of litter cleanup, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from less plastic produced. I’m looking forward to hearing from witnesses and experts on how we can craft a national policy that works for all Americans, while creating jobs and keeping our nation clean.”

Live video of Thursday’s hearing will be provided on the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Website, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday’s hearing on beverage container waste will feature testimony from experts and leaders for container recycling. Witnesses will include: Jules Bailey, President and CEO of the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative; Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute; and Steve Alexander, President and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers.