Oregon bottle drive sends funds for Ukraine relief

Oregonians have raised more than US$125,508 in donated bottles and cans to support Ukrainians in crisis.

A total of $75,508 came from residents donating 10-cent bottles and cans, and the rest was matched by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC). The funds will go to Mercy Corps’ relief efforts on the ground in Ukraine. 

“We have been humbled by the overwhelming response from Oregonians,” said Eric Chambers, director of external relations for OBRC.

“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.” 

Mercy Corps is on the ground in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, providing funding to local organizations and working to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs in the region. It provides emergency cash assistance so people can purchase what they need most, along with additional critical support.

The fundraiser ran from March 21 to April 10, during which OBRC, operator of the BottleDrop network, invited Oregonians to drop off 10-cent redeemable bottles and cans and donate the value to Mercy Corps’ Ukraine Fund. BottleDrop account holders also had the option to make donations directly to Mercy Corps from their BottleDrop accounts.

OBRC matched the donations one-to-one from its Emergency Fund, initially offering a match of up to $25,000, but doubling it when they saw the outpouring of generosity from Oregonians. At final tally, between customer donations and OBRC’s Emergency Fund match, over $125,000 went to Mercy Corps’ humanitarian support for Ukrainian refugees. 

The United Nations estimates that 10 million Ukrainians – a quarter of their population – could be displaced both inside and outside of the country.