Oregonians were asked to donate their bottle deposits to help the people of Ukraine, and we showed up in force.
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative announced today that residents from across the state gave $75,508 worth of 10-cent empties. With the organization’s donation matching, that brings the fundraising total to $125,508. The campaign lasted for approximately three weeks, and all money will go to Mercy Corps’ relief efforts on the ground in and around Ukraine.
“We have been humbled by the overwhelming response from Oregonians,” Eric Chambers, director of external relations for OBRC, stated in a press release. “Oregon’s Bottle Bill is a powerful tool, and thousands of Oregonians just proved that bottles and cans can help ease the suffering of their distant neighbors in Ukraine.”
On March 21, the cooperative invited Oregonians to take their used bottles and cans to any BottleDrop redemption center and let the staff know they would like to donate the deposit to the humanitarian organization rather than collect the money themselves. BottleDrop’s 810,000 Green Bag account holders were also encouraged to go online and direct their funds to the mission.
Mercy Corps has deployed teams to Ukraine, Poland and Romania to assist Ukrainian refugees and those who are still trying to make it out of the country. More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to the United Nations, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The United Nations estimates that 10 million Ukrainians—a quarter of the population—could be displaced both inside and outside of the country.