Bottle bill buoyed

Millions of plastic bottles may be diverted from Oregon landfills come 2009 thanks to pending legislation requiring consumers to pay a 5-cent deposit on every bottle of water.

Oregon was the first state to require a nickel deposit on beer and soda containers, back in the early 1970s. But the law has since been surpassed by many other states, including California, where regulations include a wider array of containers.

Senate Bill 707 comes at a time when more than half of the 200 million bottles of water purchased each year by Oregonians are thrown away. State lawmakers in both houses have given the green light to the plan, which is expected to sail through to the desk of Gov. Ted Kulongoski.