NWPSC December 2015 Newsletter

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December 2015

Programs & News

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The NWPSC recently joined Twitter @StewardshipNW and will continue to highlight existing product stewardship programs in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere.

Washington delegation tours MetroPaint to see recycling in action
Washington legislators toured MetroPaint in Portland, Oregon in October. MetroPaint processes more than 255,000 gallons of unwanted paint each year into an affordable recycled paint, which is sold in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. MetroPaint processes paint collected through the PaintCare Oregon product stewardship program. The Washington legislature will reconsider a PaintCare bill in January 2016. Listen to Portland Radio Project's November 9 interview with PaintCare and MetroPaint representatives.

Sustainable Packaging Coalition against biodegradability additives in plastics
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) released a formal position paper "against biodegradability additives for petroleum-based plastics, which are marketed as enhancing the sustainability of plastic by rendering the material biodegradable. The SPC has evaluated the use of biodegradability additives for conventional petroleum-based plastics, and has found that these additives do not offer any sustainability advantage and they may actually result in more environmental harm." Resource Recycling covered news of the decision and SPC will host a webinar (see below) on the decision on December 16.

Product Stewardship: whose responsibility is it anyway?
A Nov. 30, 2015 article in Environmental Leader looked at voluntary and mandatory product stewardship and "putting the ‘responsibility’ in EPR" (extended producer responsibility).

Mattress EPR program begins Dec. 30 in California
Following approval of the November 30 revised mattress stewardship plan (PDF), California will become the second state, after Connecticut, with a mattress stewardship program administered by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC). The California Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act (enacted in 2013 and amended in 2014) required mattress manufacturers to create a statewide recycling program for mattresses discarded in the state, funded by an $11 recycling fee collected from consumers when a mattress or box spring is sold, beginning Dec. 30, 2015. The MRC stewardship plan estimated that more than two million discarded mattresses and foundations were theoretically available for collection and recycling in California in 2014.

Chemicals in consumer products
Nicholas Kristof in the Nov. 29 New York Times wrote about endocrine disrupting chemicals and the state of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation. The American Chemical Society noted that a "study finds flame retardant exposure higher in infants than adults." And Clean and Healthy New York, Clean Water Action, and Conservation Minnesota for the Safe Sofas and More campaign released a December 2015 report titled Flame Retardants in Furniture, Foam, Floors: Leaders, Laggards, and the Drive for Change (PDF). MinnPost covered news of the report: "leading furniture makers appear to be phasing out their use of toxic flame retardants in their products, but mattress and carpet-padding manufacturers are lagging behind in such efforts."

Upcoming Events

  • Design for compostability: success stories within the value chain (webinar): December 8, 9-10am Pacific
  • 2015 U.S. Product Stewardship Forum (PSI) (webinar or in-person): December 8-9, Boston, MA
  • EPR 2.0: lessons learned to get producer responsibility that works (webinar): December 10, 1-2pm Pacific
  • Sustainable Packaging Coalition on biodegradability additives in petroleum-based plastics (webinar) December 16, 8-9am Pacific
  • CalRecycle Packaging Workshop: Manufacturers Challenge (webinar or in-person): Jan. 5, 2016, 9am-5pm Pacific

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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