NWPSC October 2015 Newsletter

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October 2015


Washington mercury-lights stewardship program surveylogo of LightRecycle WA program
The Washington State Department of Ecology is conducting a LightRecycle Washington Satisfaction Survey – those in Washington State are welcome to provide feedback to Ecology by October 24. Information gathered will be used by Ecology to gauge program convenience and effectiveness. Questions about the survey: contact Joanne Neugebauer-Rex at jneu461@ecy.wa.gov or (360) 407-7602. The Northwest Product Stewardship Council thanks users of LightRecycle Washington for taking the time to contribute feedback on the survey on Washington's mercury-lights stewardship program.

Revised medicine stewardship plans under review in King County
Two stewardship organizations, King County MED-Project, LLC and ReturnMeds, LLC, submitted revised proposed stewardship plans to the King County Secure Medicine Return (SMR) program for review in accordance with the July 13, 2015 compliance deadline. Proposed stewardship plans will be reviewed within ninety days of receipt and approved or rejected.

Mattress recycling picking uplogo of Bye Bye Mattress
The Mattress Recycling Council’s (MRC) Connecticut stewardship program, Bye Bye Mattress, recycled 20,000 mattresses in their first three months of operation, May–July 2015. On October 1 in California, CalRecycle approved the MRC's budget and recycling fee for the California Mattress Recycling Program (also to be known as Bye Bye Mattress): beginning Dec. 30, 2015, all mattress retailers and other sellers must collect an $11 recycling fee on each mattress or box spring sold to California end-users. In advance of the California MRC program beginning in 2016, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County opened a second Northern California mattress recycling facility. An article in the Daily Democrat quotes St. Vincent’s operations manager at the new location saying “I cannot tell you how much I can’t keep the landfills serviced. They are so packed with mattresses, that they’re calling me and begging me to pick them up...So we’re just constantly bringing mattresses in.”

80% recovery rate in first year of EPR for PPP
Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC), the stewardship organization for the packaging and printed paper (PPP) extended producer responsibility (EPR) program in British Columbia, Canada, released their 2014 annual report, in which they exceeded "the regulated target of 75%." (via the PAC NEXT fall newsletter).

Orphan” batteries and EPR
Rechargeable battery stewardship organization Call2Recycle explained the rationale for EPR programs: "all companies that put batteries into the marketplace should pay for the recycling. But approximately 30% of batteries we collect are from ‘free riders’ – battery brands that are recycled through our program but are not financially contributing to Call2Recycle... We need tougher laws that require non-participating companies to join a formal program. We are advocating for state and provincial regulations that require manufacturers to recycle their batteries under the threat of penalties, including having their products blocked from being sold within the state or province."


More stewardship groups forming
The Minnesota Product Stewardship Council (MN PSC) recently announced their formation with the mission: "Product Stewardship is being responsible for the environmental impacts of a product - from the very beginning of the product, to its end. The Minnesota Product Stewardship Council works to build capacity and knowledge among local governments and other stakeholders, to encourage producer responsibility for managing products through their entire life cycle, including but not limited to, products deemed hazardous at end-of-life. The MN PSC educates people on the benefits of producer responsibility for local and state government."

And the the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) formed the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC), a new 501(c)(4), as an affiliate to lobby for EPR laws. Resource Recycling highlighted the NSAC as it seeks to push the U.S. in the direction of a circular economy. CPSC is also celebrating their 8th anniversary since forming their board of directors; read their recent annual report (PDF).

BC gets an 'A' in EPR
The Province of British Columbia recently received the highest rating (A) from EPR Canada's 2015 Report Card, according to Solid Waste & Recycling, for following the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Canada-wide Action Plan on EPR implementation schedule "utilizing a non-prescriptive, results-based regulation that assigns responsibility for end-of-life management to producers or their agents... Duncan Bury, co-founder of EPR Canada, applauded BC for setting a steady pace toward full EPR that distinguishes it from other jurisdictions in Canada: BC continues to keep its foot on the pedal in establishing full producer responsibility for the consumer products that are sold into the marketplace... For that they deserve our highest honour and our congratulations."

Target encourages suppliers to bring more sustainable products to market
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is thanking Target as it has "expanded the list of chemicals it wants suppliers to take out of their products, stepping up pressure on its vendors to respond to consumer health concerns" including coal tars, bisphenol A, triclosan and "almost 600 substances on Health Canada's roster of prohibited cosmetic ingredients." — Bloomberg Business

Repair and re-manufacturing in the circular economy
From a Sept. 21, 2015 article in the EU Observer: "We are making, using and throwing things away at ever faster rates... Recycling is one solution. But why break something up when only one of the parts is defective? If something is broken, it should be fixed... Repairing and remanufacturing have the potential to deliver enormous economic, environmental and social benefits. Consumers stand to benefit too." (via UPSTREAM)

The circular economy and Reloop Platform
Clarissa Morawski explained the circular economy and European efforts to strengthen it in a clip on TV Ontario (TVO). (via Container Recycling Institute newsletter)

Upcoming Events

  • A Quest for Convenience: Drug Take-Back at Retail Pharmacies (webinar): October 15, 11am-12:30pm Pacific
  • Reuse, Repair and Product Lifespan Extension Project (webinar): October 20, 3-4:30pm Pacific
  • The role of cities in sustainable consumption: making the case for local action (webinar): October 20, 9:30-11am Pacific
  • Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (webinar or in-person): October 29, 10am-1pm Pacific, Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel, Ontario, Canada
  • 2015 U.S. Product Stewardship Forum (PSI): December 8-9, Boston, MA

Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC)The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is a coalition of government agencies in Washington and Oregon working on solid waste, recycling, resource conservation, environmental protection, public health and other issues. Together with non-government agencies, businesses and individuals, we form a network that supports product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies and programs. For more information, contact info@productstewardship.net or visit us at www.ProductStewardship.net.

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