NWPSC August 2017 Newsletter

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August 2017

Legislation & Programs

Snohomish County opens secure medicine return kiosksunwanted medicines
On Aug. 1, 2017, Snohomish County cut the ribbon on the first of more than twenty expected secure medicine return kiosks, the second county-level pharmaceutical stewardship program in Washington state. Snohomish Health District's press release lists the locations expected to open in August, which will take back unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines, funded and operated by pharmaceutical manufacturer stewardship organization MED-Project. My Edmonds News and the Everett Herald covered the news.

Clallam County votes to develop secure medicine return law
Clallam County Board of Health voted unanimously August 1 "to pursue a medicine return policy for Clallam County... The Board is expected to discuss the fee schedule at its August 15 meeting... The ordinance will be vetted by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office before it is presented in a public hearing." Clallam’s ordinance "will be based largely on Kitsap County’s secure medicine return law... Since public health efforts are coordinated in Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties, the Jefferson County health board may be included to consider adopting its own ordinance." If passed, Clallam would be the fifth county and Jefferson the sixth in Washington state to pass pharmaceutical product stewardship laws. Both Kitsap and Pierce county secure medicine return locations are planned to open in the fall of 2017; King County secure medicine return opened in January 2017.

News & Resources

Businesses and producer responsibility: lead or be led?
In a keynote address to the U.S. Product Stewardship Forum hosted by PSI (the Product Stewardship Institute), John Coyne of Unilever Canada and the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (CSSA) delivered a remarkable speech on extended producer responsibility (EPR), its importance to fighting climate change, what it is and isn't, and the opportunities available for businesses:

"EPR is not simply about shifting responsibility for funding the collection of waste from local governments to businesses. EPR is not a tax nor should it ever be. EPR is also not waste management.
Instead EPR is focused on establishing effective programs to collect valuable materials so that they can be reused, and reused profitably, resulting in social, economic, and environmental benefits.
And while EPR alone will not eliminate climate change, of course, it is an essential part of the circular economy. And you can’t solve climate change without the circular economy.
The circular economy is simply an economy with no tailpipe. An economy where nothing gets spewed out the back end. We achieve that by creating a continuous loop that keeps all those molecules in play, maximizing their utility, and value, instead of being dumped into a hole in the ground, or shunted into the water supply, or emitted into the atmosphere.
My question for businesses: will you lead? Or will you be led? What are the consequences of not acting?"

Watch the full 28-minute video of John Coyne's speech on YouTube.

California workshops: mattresses and packaging
CalRecycle will host a workshop on August 15 in Sacramento to "gather public comments and input on a draft staff proposal for the development of the state mattress recycling baseline amount and state mattress recycling goals," as required by the California Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act. This is a public workshop, registeration not required, accessible in person or via webcast.
Then, on Sept. 19, CalRecycle will host a Packaging Reform Workshop. Part of their Packaging Reform policy model development process, this workshop will build upon the March 22, 2017 workshop and CalRecycle will evaluate which mandatory policy models and instruments might be best suited to increasing collection and recovery of specific packaging types.

Electronics stewardship and lightweighting products
The changing of TVs from heavy CRT (cathode ray tube) glass to plastic flat-panel displays, or lightweighting, is affecting electronics stewardship programs which set weight-based collection requirements annually. Because "manufacturers for three years in a row have collected fewer pounds of electronics than the state requires them to," the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced it will reduce manufacturers' weight targets for the state’s nine-year-old electronics product stewardship program, Oregon E-Cycles. Resource Recycling similarly covered the lightweighting of electronic devices in a May article about E-Cycle Washington, which uses market share data rather than weight-based obligations.

Australian mattress manufacturers' voluntarily recycling
In Australia, "mattress manufacturers, suppliers and retailers are coming together in a “stewardship scheme”, where they agree to take responsibility for recycling their goods when no one wants them anymore." According to an article in The Guardian, members of this voluntary product stewardship scheme held a briefing in June to encourage small businesses and retailers to take part. "The scheme’s members will either absorb the costs or recoup them from customers. Customers may be prepared to pay more for bedding if their old one is recycled for them – bearing in mind that garbage fees are as much as $80 per mattress and customers usually have to pay someone to take it away." Founding members of the Soft Landing mattress product stewardship scheme include Sealy, Tempur, SleepMaker, Thermotec, and others.

Upcoming Events

  • CalRecycle Mattress Recycling baseline and goals workshop (webinar): Aug. 15, 1-4pm Pacific
  • California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) annual conference: Aug. 20-23, San Diego, CA
  • CalRecycle Packaging Reform workshop (webinar): Sept. 19, 1-4:30pm Pacific
  • Conference on Canadian Stewardship: EPR and the Circular Economy: Sept. 27-29, Montreal, Canada
  • Plastics Summit: Sept. 25, Tukwila Community Center, Tukwila, WA
  • North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) NW chapter conference: Oct. 15-18, Troutdale, OR
  • Sustainable Packaging Coalition: SPC Advance: Oct. 17-18, Pittsburgh, PA
  • New York Textiles Summit: Oct. 31, New York City

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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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