Oregon lawmakers consider banning Styrofoam to-go boxes and allowing customers to bring their own containers

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Oregon is steps closer to banning styrofoam to-go containers. Learn more here.

Katherine Cook, KGW8

PORTLAND, Oregon — Would you like that to go?

In Oregon, two bills could soon play into that question for people dining out. Under Senate Bill 543, lawmakers are considering banning Styrofoam to-go containers in Oregon as well as so-called “forever chemicals” known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“Polystyrene is a threat to the health of our communities and our land,” said bill sponsor Senator Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro). “This is a step towards a more sustainable and mindful approach to consumption and a commitment to preserving the health, beauty and diversity of Oregon for generations to come.”

On Monday, SB 543 sailed through the Senate with bipartisan support. Customers outside food carts on Southwest Fourth Avenue said the effort feels like a positive move for Oregon.

“[Styrofoam] takes a long time to break down and causes ocean pollution and things like that,” said Isabel Haglund.

Others noted how common Styrofoam still appears to be, even in Portland.

“I do GrubHub and Doordash and when I do it I see tons of Styrofoam,” said Austin Aguon. “I see Styrofoam all over the streets.”

SB 543 heads to the Oregon House on Tuesday for its first reading.


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