PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon lawmakers and businesses have already implemented several rules that aim to make the state more eco-friendly. Although some Oregonians are opposed to these measures, including one that will require Walmart customers to use reusable bags in stores, a recent survey shows that most residents are in support of the environmental policies.
With help from market research firm Ipsos, non-profit ocean conservation organization Oceana conducted a survey asking Oregon voters if they supported local and state laws that work to reduce single-use plastics.
About 412 adult residents responded to the poll that ran from Dec. 12 to Dec. 19, 2022.
The survey found that 88% of registered voters in Oregon support local and state policies that decrease single-use plastics, and 87% of voters said the same for national policies.
Similarly, other poll results show the majority of Oregonians are concerned about plastic pollution’s impact on the environment, the ocean, the rain in national parks and even their own bodies.
Oceana’s survey was released on Tuesday, March 14 — shortly before the Oregon Senate passed a bill that would allow restaurant patrons to use food containers from home and shortly after customers in Oregon retail stores were permitted to bring their own reusable food containers.
Lawmakers have proposed additional measures, Senate Bills 543 and 544, that also focus on making Oregon a more sustainable state.
“SB 543 would phase out expanded polystyrene foodware, packing peanuts & coolers,” Oceana said. “Made from fossil fuels, expanded polystyrene is a form of foamed plastic commonly used for food containers and packaging.”
SB 544 serves a similar purpose, and would direct the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission to launch a program that would get the state closer to its goal of reducing single-use plastic packaging by 25% by the year 2030.
Both Oregon and Washington have pre-existing plastic bag bans, but climate activists are urging residents to contact their representatives about these new measures that would further mitigate plastic pollution.
“Every year, an estimated 33 billion pounds of plastic enter the marine environment, devastating the world’s oceans, harming marine wildlife, and contributing to the climate crisis,” Oceana said. “Even a robust recycling system cannot keep up with the exponential growth of plastic production.”