NWPSC January 2018 Newsletter

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January 2018

Legislation & Programs

The Washington Legislature regular session begins Jan. 8, 2018 and Oregon's Legislative session begins Feb. 5.
As this is the second year of the biennium in both legislatures, last year's stewardship bills remain active: paint (HB 1376) and medicine (HB 1047) in Washington, and medicine (HB 2645) and EPR for HHW (HB 3105) in Oregon.

Fair Repair bill hearing Jan. 9 in Washington House
The Washington state House Committee on Technology & Economic Development is scheduled Tuesday January 9 at 10am to hear HB 2279 concerning the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic productswatch live TVW video of the hearing.
HB 2279, the Fair Repair bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris (Bellingham), chair of the House Committee on Technology & Economic Development, is a "right to repair" bill. The bill would prevent waste and increase manufacturers' responsibility for the full life cycle of their products, goals shared by the concept of product stewardship. HB 2279 is supported by the Repair Association, which has introduced similar legislation in 12 other states and has the support of farm groups, non-profit and for-profit recyclers, small business groups, charities, fix-it clinics, appliance repair shops, and locksmiths.
HB 2279 would require manufacturers to make available to independent repair shops and product owners service documentation, diagnostics, tools, access to parts, and firmware. This would "broaden access to the information and tools necessary for repair of digital electronic products, thereby reducing unnecessary early disposal of those products, increasing consumer control over their own devices, and supporting a competitive repair market and the increased availability of remanufactured or repaired advanced electronics to create lower cost entry points for consumers to own advanced electronics."

Washington Mercury Lights Stewardship updatelogo of LightRecycle Washington
LightRecycle collected 994,661 mercury-containing lights through September 2017, weighing 463,711 lbs. With more than 200 collection sites in Washington, including businesses and municipal facilities, LightRecycle has recycled more than two million mercury-containing lights since launching in 2015.
LightRecycle is a manufacturer operated product stewardship program run by PCA Product Stewardship Inc., a nonprofit, and overseen by the Washington Department of Ecology under the state's mercury lights law. LightRecycle allows individuals and businesses to recycle up to 10 mercury-containing lights per day at sites throughout Washington – find a location near you.

Advisory committee appointed to the California Carpet Stewardship program
In accordance with the recently amended Product Stewardship for Carpets Law, CalRecycle, which oversess the California Carpet Stewardship program, appointed a new advisory committee to "provide recommendations to a carpet manufacturer or stewardship organization and to the department on carpet stewardship plans, plan amendments, and annual reports."

News & Resources

Beyond plastic waste and the New Plastics Economy
An editorial by Ellen MacArthur in the Nov. 17, 2017 issue of Science titled Beyond plastic waste shared the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's "vision for a system in which all plastic materials are reused, recycled, or safely composted in a controlled way." The Foundation leads The New Plastics Economy initiative. MacArthur wrote (emphasis added):

"restrictions need to be complemented by mechanisms that foster innovation. Policy-makers can connect the design of plastic packaging with its collection, sorting, and subsequent reuse, recycling, or composting by supporting deposit-refund schemes for drinks bottles, as in Germany and Denmark, or by requiring producers to consider what happens to their packaging products after use. A useful policy approach is extended producer responsibility (EPR), which makes producers responsible for the entire product life cycle. EPR policies have been introduced in European Union legislation and at the national level for packaging, batteries, vehicles, and electronics. Such policies can support good design and improve the economics of after-use options for packaging materials.
However, the most potent tool for policy-makers remains the setting of a clear common vision and credible high-level ambitions that drive investment decisions. In the case of plastics, a crucial pillar of such a policy ambition must be stimulating scientific breakthroughs in the development of materials that can be economically reused, recycled, or composted."

The future of solid waste funding in Washington state
In a July 2017 three part report for the Washington Department of Ecology, Cascadia Consulting Group researched, identified, and recommended options to strengthen the state’s funding system for solid waste management. Among the four state-level recommended funding mechanisms was Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): "Seek to expand statewide EPR for hard-to-handle and hazardous products, potentially printers and peripherals, medicine, paint, mattresses, batteries, household hazardous waste, and/or appliances with refrigerants. Monitor the effectiveness and stakeholder impacts of packaging and printed paper programs elsewhere for potential future consideration." Download the report and appendices from Ecology's financing solid waste for the future website.

Upcoming Events

  • Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) annual conference: May 20-23, 2018
  • Sustainable Oregon, Association of Oregon Recyclers (AOR) annual conference: June 13-15, 2018

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