Recycling Advocates E-Newsletter

January 2019 | |

Engaging people in creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.

BYOC Campaign Update
By Brion Hurley

Brion HurleyAs we kick off another year of our BYOC campaign, the momentum is definitely moving in the right direction! We're hearing from more and more coffee shop owners who want to get involved, around the Portland Metro area and as far afield as Ireland!

Last year, we had a great turnout at our first Zero Waste Conference, where we heard from Nossa Familia Coffee about their coffee cup reduction efforts. You can watch their presentation, along with all the videos on our conference recap page here at
Some other good news for the environment: the City of Portland passed an ordinance to restrict single-use plastics that goes into effect July 1st. You can read more at, also see Holly Hummel's recap later in this newsletter. 
We look forward to seeing more incentives and discounts being offered at local coffee shops to increase "for here" and reusable cups. 
Can you envision a future where disposable coffee cups are no longer the majority? We can!
We're always happy to hear from you if you have feedback, or if you'd like to get involved with RA, or if you know of a coffee shop we should connect with. Contact us at or 503-777-0909.

Portland's Plastic Straw, Utensil and Condiments Ordinance
By Holly Hummel, RA Treasurer

Holly HummelPORTLAND SCORES A HUGE WIN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!  Plastic Straws, plastic utensils and condiment packages are OUT UNLESS REQUESTED, effective July 1, 2019.

The City Council issued findings regarding the pervasiveness and the problem presented by single-use plastic items:

“Plastic straws are the sixth most frequently occurring litter in the US … Litter cleanup data from SOLVE volunteers revealed 15% of litter by count consists of single-use plastics from packaging associated with take-out and delivery of food and drink.  … According to a 2016 study conducted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 4% of Portland’s landfill-bound waste by weight is plastic packaging, which represents 38 million pounds of plastic or 60 pounds of plastic per person, per year.  … Over 600 speciesj, including sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seabirds, are known to be impacted by plastic, either by ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris. …”

THEREFORE, Portland passed ordinance number 17.103.310 Restrictions on Single-Use Plastic Serviceware that provides that effective July 1, 2019, all retail food and beverage establishments and institutional cafeterias:

“where beverages may be consumed at dine-in areas, shall provide plastic serviceware only after customer request” and all such facilities” where customers order fast food, take-out or delivery, shall provide plastic serviceware to customers only after asking if the customer needs plastic serviceware and the customer responds affirmatively.”

Lake Oswego Plastic Bag Ban
By Susan Mead, RA Secretary

Susan MeadLake Oswego took the lessons from previous bag bans around the state and opted to include a 10-cent fee for requesting a paper bag once the plastic bag ban takes affect in July 2019. It also mandates that bags sold as "reusable" should be made of non-plastic materials. 

To assist residents with the change, the city is planning to offer free reusable bags at various locations within the city, such as the Farmers' Market and City Hall. 

Read more about Lake Oswego's implementation of the bag ban here:

Why can't you recycle plastic bags in curbside bins? 

"Myrtle the Turtle" Coming Soon!

MyrtleMore good news: Environment Oregon's Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal, so Celeste Meiffren-Swango's Myrtle the Turtle ("a children's book to educate kids - and their grown ups - about plastic pollution in the ocean and what they can do to help") is on its way to the publisher. 

The fundraiser has ended but you can read about Myrtle here:, and we'll be sure to let you know when and where you can get your copy. 
Do Just One Thing: Swap Your White Elephants
By Holly Hummel, RA Treasurer

Holly HummelHere’s an opportunity to do something fun the next time you have friends over for dinner or a potluck. Use the opportunity to find a new home for unwanted items in your house. In her fun and informative book, I Like You, comedian Amy Sedaris suggests putting out a table full of items you’re looking to get rid of for guests to peruse during the party.

Expand on Sedaris’ idea by asking all of your friends to bring giveaways from their homes, and have an after-dinner swap. Each guest will go home with a “new” item, and their old items won’t go to waste.

If you have leftover items after the party, donate them. One of our favorite donation places is the Community Warehouse which accepts donations of household items and redistributes them to people who need them the most. Check out their website for information as to which items the Community Warehouse will accept:

They will also pick up your gently used furniture for a $30 pickup fee.  Community Warehouse has locations in NE Portland at 3961 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd (Call 503-235-8786) and in Tualatin at 8380 SW Nyberg Road (503-347-2147).

North Portland Fix-it Fair on Saturday Jan 26th

Fixit FairNorth-Portlanders, swing by the RA table and say hello at Saturday's Fix-it Fair at Okley Green Middle School. We'll be there with BYOC info and to answer people's recycling questions. 

BPS has great (free) workshops starting at 10:00 AM, see the schedule here:

Saturday January 26, 2019
9:30AM - 2:30PM
Ockley Green Middle School
6031 N Montana Ave, Portland, OR 97217
For details of this and other local area "green" events see the Events Calendar on our website.
If there's an event you think we should include please drop us a line at info @

Become a member of Recycling Advocates and help us continue to spread the word about waste prevention.  

Ways to Contribute:

  • By Mail: print and complete our Membership Form, mail it with your check to PO Box 6736, Portland, OR 97228-6736.
  • Visit our Website's Membership page
  • PayPal: use the button below to donate via PayPal using your credit card, bank account, or Paypal balance. 

Membership Levels 
Advocate $25 - Friend $50 - Supporter $100 - Sustainer $250
Gifts of any amount gratefully received.

Join at "Friend" level or above to be eligible to receive a Recycling Advocates/Rooster reusable coffee cup.

We thank you for your passion, support and commitment to protecting Oregon’s environment! 
Other Ways to Support Recycling Advocates

Here are some ways to contribute to Recycling Advocates that won't cost you a penny.

Fred Meyer Community RewardsFred Meyer Community Rewards: shop with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card, continue to earn your rewards points, fuel points and rebates, and Fred Meyer will donate to Recycling Advocates! Sign up here, and select Recycling Advocates, nonprofit number 90398. 

Amazon Smile: Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to RA whenever you shop at You'll see all your usual account settings and exactly the same products and pricing as at Learn more and sign up here

Good Search and Good ShopGoodSearch & GoodShop: Support RA and save money at and Find store coupons, coupon codes, discounts, deals and promo codes. Join here and select Recycling Advocates. 
Take the Pledge! 

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