Oregon City's Walgreens was among the stores fined by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission last month for violating the rules of the Bottle Bill.
This is the first time that the OLCC issued a fine for a Bottle Bill violation since Oregon passed the iconic law in 1971.
At its monthly meeting July 28, OLCC commissioners ratified a stipulated settlement with Illinois-based Walgreen Co. for having 25 stores out of compliance with Oregon's Bottle Bill requirements. Walgreens has agreed to pay a fine of $80,000 for the violations, which included the store at 1310 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.
Oregon City's Walgreens is within the "convenience zone" of a redemption center near the intersection of Beavercreek Road and Highway 213. Oregon law requires stores that are 5,000 or more square feet and in such a zone to participate in that redemption center or provide equivalent services, including accepting up to 350 empty beverage containers per person per day and providing reverse vending machines and a drop-off service for customers. OLCC determined that the 25 Walgreens locations failed to participate in a redemption center and did not offer equivalent services for a period of 16 days each.
Acting OLCC Chair Marvin Révoal said levying the $80,000 fine was consistent with state law.
"We want to treat businesses fairly and that includes holding them accountable when they're not complying with regulations. We appreciate Walgreens' full participation in entering the Redemption Center system," Révoal said.
The OLCC has been working on this case for a long time in an effort to bring Walgreens into compliance.
"We're glad to reach a resolution with Walgreens that meets the customer convenience needs of Oregonians," said OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks. "For business reasons, they could not comply with required timelines."
The fines assessed by OLCC are mandatory, and the OLCC Commission has no ability to adjust them. Prior to the Walgreens infraction, Bottle Bill violations have been able to be resolved through education.