NWPSC February 2018 Newsletter

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February 2018


Legislative sessions began Jan. 8 in Olympia and Feb. 5 in Salem – last year's stewardship bills are still active:

  • Washington medicine stewardship HB 1047: bill is still alive and is supported by the Washington State Medical Association. The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) with Zero Waste Washington and the Washington State Pharmacy Association created a video highlighting the success of the Secure Med Return / MED-Project stewardship programs in King and Snohomish counties. Similar medicine stewardship programs, funded by manufacturers and mandated by local health ordinances, are also coming soon to Pierce, Kitsap, Clallam and Whatcom counties. The AWC video also points to the logic of expanding secure medicine return statewide with HB 1047.
  • Oregon medicine stewardship HB 2645: no activity on this bill, unlikely to move forward.
  • Washington paint stewardship HB 1376: bill is still alive, yet without support from the American Coatings Association (and PaintCare) it looks unlikely to move forward.
  • Oregon product stewardship for household hazardous waste (HHW) HB 4126: also known as "EPR for HHW," this bill is moving forward with a new bill number (was HB 3105 in 2017). This version includes most of the changes from last session; its passage depends on another bill which would leave a large funding hole.

Programs & News

Solar stewardship in Washington state
In 2017, Washington passed ESSB 5939, the Solar Incentives Job Bill, the first law in the nation to require manufacturers to manage and finance the safe recycling of solar units at end of life, at no cost to the owner of the product. The Washington Dept. of Ecology has begun program implementation, contacting manufacturers, planning a stakeholder meeting for February 21, and drafting preliminary guidelines. A January 4 webinar by the Product Stewardship Institute explored the law and solar panel recycling.

Ontario transitioning from shared to full producer responsibility
In 2016, Ontario passed the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016, which enacts the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) and the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016, (WDTA) and replaces the Waste Diversion Act, 2002, with "a new producer responsibility framework that makes producers individually responsible and accountable for their products and packaging at end of life." With the Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016, the former Waste Diversion Ontario was overhauled as the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority. Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) enforces "the requirements for producers to be responsible and accountable for their products and packaging at the end of their life cycle... and oversees the ongoing operation of current waste diversion programs and the orderly wind up [transition] of those programs and associated industry funding organizations."

"The WDTA will facilitate a seamless transition from the current waste diversion programs to the new producer responsibility framework. Existing waste diversion programs will continue operating until the wastes under those programs are designated under the RRCEA. Once requirements under the new act come into force, existing programs and the industry funding organizations that operate them will be eliminated."

Ontario's waste diversion programs operated by Industry Funding Organizations (IFOs) are Used Tires, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Blue Box (packaging and printed paper or PPP), and Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW). The Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change directed two programs to begin transition: Used Tires and Blue Box.
Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) submitted its proposed Used Tires Program (UTP) Wind Up Plan to RPRA, in order to transition tires to individual producer responsibility by the end of 2018. RPRA is conducting public consultations and inviting comments to be submitted by Feb. 16, 2018.
Stewardship Ontario submitted an amended Blue Box Program Plan that outlines the first phase of transition and prepares "for a second phase of transition that will result in individual producer responsibility." Public feedback on the draft plan ended on Jan. 15, 2018.

Recycled content container bill in California
SB 168, which would require CalRecycle to establish by 2023 minimum recycled content standards for metal, glass, or plastic beverage containers, passed the California Senate on January 29 and awaits consideration in the Assembly. Earlier bill language required the creation of a beverage container stewardship program to replace the current California beverage container recycling program; current bill language instead requires CalRecycle, by Jan. 1, 2020, to study and report to the Legislature on replacing the current California beverage container recycling program with an extended producer responsibility system.
The California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act of 1986 created the "Bottle Bill" program. After more than 30 years, the program has not generated strong in-state markets for recycled materials and SB 168 is intended to change that.

Changes in EU waste directives
In Resource Recycling, Clarissa Morawski highlights recent legislative amendments to six key waste directives in Europe as part of their Circular Economy Package:

  • 55% binding target for recycling of household waste by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.
  • A cap on landfilling of waste to 10% by 2035.
  • A new recycling calculation, which moves the point of measurement of the weight of material from collection (or the first sort) to the input of the final recycling facility, after all sorting has taken place.
  • While not yet public, information on extended producer responsibility (EPR) suggests that producers will be required to pay for up to 80% of the costs for new EPR programs and EU programs and 50% for existing national programs.
  • For packaging, EU member states will need to recycle by 2030 at least:
    • 85% of their paper and cardboard
    • 75% of their glass
    • 60% of aluminum
    • 80% of ferrous metal
    • 30% of wood
    • and 55% of their plastic packaging
  • Overall target for packaging is 65% for 2025 and 70% for 2030.

Carpet recycling, oil, and voluntary product stewardship
Floor Covering Weekly examined the difficulties facing the carpet recycling industry: the drop in oil prices resulted in a dramatic drop in demand for recycled polymers, carpet being but one example, which has been "devastating for businesses involved in [carpet] recycling." In addition, less than half of the businesses who signed-up in 2015 for the Carpet and Rug Institute's Voluntary Product Stewardship program to "develop market-based solutions for carpet recycling" are active today and many have closed their doors. Read more about CARE and the California Carpet Stewardship program.

Upcoming Events

  • CRI 2018 Container Deposit and packaging legislation update (webinar): Feb. 12, 10am Pacific
  • Electronics recycling: who pays? What do they get? (webinar): Feb. 15, 9:30-10:15am Pacific
  • Recycling Market Update - China's Green Sword (webinar): Feb. 15, 10-11:30am Pacific
  • International Stewardship Forum: April 4-5, Sydney, Australia
  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: April 28, 10am-2pm nationwide
  • 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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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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