Legislature to weigh statewide plastic bag tax, straw ban

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature will consider a statewide tax on plastic bags and a ban on plastic straws.

The Statesman Journal reports a Senate committee voted to introduce both legislative concepts, or preliminary bills, during an informational hearing Wednesday.

Both bills would help reduce plastic waste that ends up in landfills and the environment.

One would impose a 5 cent per bag tax on single-use plastic bags used by retail stores selling food or alcohol, and require the establishments to provide paper checkout bags.

The tax wouldn’t apply to meat and vegetable bags, or other non-checkout bags. And customers who use vouchers and state benefit cards would be exempt.

Another measure would prohibit restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws to customers unless they request a straw.