NWPSC April 2017 Newsletter

Header V1

Header V1

April 2017


HHW and Medicine stewardship bills in Oregon (session is Feb. 1 to July 9)

  • HB 3105 relating to household hazardous waste (HHW) had a public hearing and work session in the House Committee on Energy and Environment where it passed and was referred to Ways and Means
  • HB 2645 relating to drugs had a public hearing and work session in the House Committee on Health Care where it passed and was referred to Ways and Means


LightRecycle Washington awarded Green GlobeLightRecycle WA Green Globe Award 2017
LightRecycle Washington, the statewide product stewardship program for mercury-containing lights, received a King County Green Globe award as a Leader in Product Stewardship. With more than 220 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.

CalRecycle rejects CARE carpet stewardship plan, again
After CalRecycle rejected the carpet industry's stewardship plan in December 2016, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) submitted a revised plan in February, which was considered at an April 18 CalRecycle public meeting in Sacramento (YouTube, from the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC)).
The Director of CalRecycle announced at the April 18, 2017 meeting that CARE’s revised plan is disapproved. CARE is allowed to continue to operate under their 2016 plan for 60 days while they submit a new plan; CalRecycle staff will plan for commencing enforcement actions against manufacturers as well as "hold a workshop to provide information on how to draft and submit a stewardship plan(s) that comply with state law."

"Without any approved Plans, all manufacturers of carpet, selling in California, are currently subject to penalties of $10,000 per day until such time as they are covered by a Department-approved plan... However, in order to preserve the recycling infrastructure and to avoid market disruptions, manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers in compliance with the prior 2016 Carpet Stewardship Plan may continue to operate for the next 60 days without being subject to fines for selling carpet in California."

The revised plan, response, comments, FAQs, and the disapproval are available on CalRecycle's carpet stewardship plans website. Resource Recycling covered the news and history of the "long-brewing conflict... [and] rare public breakdown", while CARE's April 2017 carpet stewardship program update also covered the news.

Vermont fined Walgreens for battery stewardship violation
"To sell batteries in Vermont, battery manufacturers have to register a stewardship plan with the State outlining how they will contribute to offering free consumer recycling options in Vermont. Walgreens' brand never registered a plan... Despite several violation notices and stop sale notices to the Walgreens stores, compliance was not voluntarily achieved." The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources fined Walgreen Eastern Co., Inc., the owner of three Vermont Walgreens stores, $20,000 for producing and selling batteries in Vermont without an Agency-approved battery stewardship plan. Vermont is the only state with a primary battery stewardship program in the U.S.

Safe drug take back
In February, Rockland County, NY became the first East Coast municipality to require pharmaceutical manufacturers to fund and manage a safe disposal program for unwanted medications. According to the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), Rockland County "joins 13 counties, two cities, and two states that require pharmaceutical manufacturers to fund and manage drug take-back programs." Rockland's law (PDF) is "unique in that it requires pharmacies to participate as collection locations, but only those chains with three or more U.S. stores. This provision will significantly increase the number of pharmacy collection locations in the County and provide greater convenience to residents." Stewardship plans were due April 1, 2017.
And on May 15, PSI will host a free webinar on how and why some rural areas provide residents with a convenient way to safely dispose of leftover medications.
Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Agency sponsored National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day continues its twice-a-year nationwide collection event at local law enforcement locations this Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10am-2pm.


Chemicals of concern in consumer products
CVS announced "the removal of parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors across nearly 600" store brand beauty and personal care products. "Over the past several years, CVS Health has engaged with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF) coalition and its Mind the Store campaign, an organization working to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products, strengthen the understanding of chemicals of consumer concern and inform opportunities for retailers to advance chemical safety in consumer products." Beverley Thorpe of Clean Production Action highlighted other recent commitments to chemical transparency from businesses such as SC Johnson, Unilever, and Target.
Meanwhile, two recent studies found plastic toys containing flame retardants due to recycled plastic content from electronics.

Assessing the ROI of EPR
Scott Cassel of the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) and Resa Dimino of RRS wrote in Resource Recycling on the success of Connecticut's four extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs. They concluded that "not all EPR laws are equal, and not all are implemented and enforced equally. Moving forward, state and local governments, and their industry partners, should enact EPR laws that most effectively address jointly defined problems, taking into consideration cost, ease of implementation, program convenience and other factors." Read more on PSI's January study of Connecticut's successful EPR programs.

Packaging materials management in California
CalRecycle continued an ongoing dialog process begun in 2016 to reduce packaging waste and increase recycling. Resource Recycling covered the March 2017 meeting and its history, where stakeholders continued to "discuss the possibility of requiring producers to play a role in the end-of-life management of packaging materials... and the merits of extended producer responsibility (EPR) efforts." CalRecycle "stressed they are not at the point of developing a legislative policy."

Upcoming Events

  • Materials Footprint of the Consumer Electronics Ecosystem (webinar): April 27, 11am-12:30pm Pacific
  • Product Stewardship in Action: The Business Case for Lifecycle Thinking (webinar): April 27, 11:30am-12:30pm Pacific
  • DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (local law enforcement locations nationwide): April 29, 10am-2pm Pacific
  • Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) annual conference: May 7-10, 2017 Pasco, WA
  • Drug Take-Back: A Tool for Rural Areas to Fight Drug Abuse and Reduce Water Impacts (webinar): May 15, 12:30-2pm Pacific

Engage with the Northwest Product Stewardship Counciltwitter icon 30x30
Add your voice and join the Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) as an Associate, Steering, or Community member.
Follow the NWPSC on Twitter (@StewardshipNW) for product stewardship information from Washington, Oregon and elsewhere.

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.

Subscribe to the NWPSC Newsletter. For current subscribers: update your email, password, or unsubscribe on the Subscriber Preferences Page (you will need to use your email address to log in). If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please visit subscriberhelp.govdelivery.com.