NWPSC March Newsletter

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MARCH 2014

New Washington Coordinator

Liz Larter, NWPSC Washington Coordinator

Liz Larter, NWPSC WA Coordinator

The NWPSC is excited to announce that they have hired Elizabeth (Liz) Larter to be the Washington Coordinator for the Northwest Product Stewardship Council. Most recently, Liz worked as the spokesperson and Communications Director for the GMO labeling campaign and as Governor Jay Inslee's Research Director on his 2012 gubernatorial campaign. Liz has over 10 years of experience working on a variety of complex policy issues and distilling them into easy-to-understand snippets. Liz has worked with the business community on public policy issues when she was on the public affairs team at the National Association of Manufacturers. She has worked with elected officials on both sides of the aisle as well as with nonprofits.

Liz was hired to implement the NWPSC’s Strategic Plan and to increase the council's effectiveness in developing stewardship solutions for products that are toxic and hard to handle by working with Washington's businesses, local governments and communities. As part of that role, she’ll be focusing on outreach and communications and organizational development for the NWPSC. Liz will be based out of the consulting firm PRR’s office and will be working closely with NWPSC Co-chair, Lisa Sepanski and Katherine Diers of PRR. You can get in touch with her at: elarter@prrbiz.com or 206-462-6350.


WA Mercury Lights Stewardship Bill Passes
The Washington Senate passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2246 on March 7, the Legislature's cutoff, on a 31-18 vote. ESHB 2246 is an amendment to the 2010 WA Mercury-containing Lights Stewardship Law and a negotiated agreement between stakeholders that the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) supported. Passage ensures adequate financing for the stewardship program and resolves the lighting industry's lawsuit against the state that has delayed program implementation.

WA Paint Bill Dies in Committee
House Bill 1579, the Paint Stewardship Bill, would have created a stewardship program for leftover architectural oil-based and latex paint. The American Coatings Association (ACA) was the lead proponent of the bill. The bill passed out of the House Environment Committee but did not receive a floor vote by the legislature’s February 18 cross-over cut-off and died in session. ACA intends to try again with paint stewardship legislation in 2015.

OR Children’s Safe Chemical Act Died in Senate
SB 1569, introduced into the Oregon legislature on Feb. 3, 2014, would require that manufacturers of children’s products containing priority chemicals of concern at or above a “de minimis level” would be required to notify the Oregon Health Authority and provide a variety of details about the toxicity of the product and its uses. SB 1569 would authorize the Oregon Health Authority to enter into reciprocal data sharing agreements with agencies in other states (including Washington) and the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2). The bill died in the Senate.

King County Secure Medicine Return Regulations Update
The King County Board of Health adopted regulations in June 2013 to establish a Secure Medicine Return program in King County, operated and funded by the drug producers who sell their products in or into King County for residential use.
Recently there has been an extension of certain implementation deadlines as an agreement in the lawsuit challenging King County’s regulations. The lawsuit, which was filed by four pharmaceutical industry associations - Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Generic Pharmaceutical Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, and Consumer Healthcare Products Association - is similar to a separate lawsuit already underway against Alameda County, California. A lower court’s ruling in favor of Alameda County is currently under review by the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, with a hearing scheduled in early April. The Ninth Circuit’s decision is likely to affect the King County lawsuit; therefore, King County agreed to extend the March 20  and June 20, 2014 deadlines until after the Ninth Circuit decision. If you have questions regarding medicine return within King County, contact Taylor Watson at 206-263-3072.

California State-Wide Drug Take-Back Bill
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, sponsored by the California Product Stewardship Council, Clean Water Action, the California Alliance of Retired Americans, the City and County of San Francisco and Alameda County, introduced SB 1014, which would require drug manufacturers to create, finance and manage a statewide system for collecting and safely disposing of unwanted prescription drugs that people have in their homes and is modeled after Alameda County's ordinance—from Senator Jackson's news release.

Upcoming Events

  • PSI webinar: Maintaining EPR for Packaging in the Face of Rising Costs – March 19
  • SWANA Road to Zero Waste Conference – March 24 - 26
  • Sustainable Packaging Coaliation Conference – March 25 - 27
  • SWANA Pacific Chapter: Canadian Waste Resource Symposium – April 2 - 4
  • SWANA Evergreen Chapter: Northwest Regional Symposium – April 9 - 11
  • WSRA Annual Conference – May 4 - 7
  • CARE Annual Conference – May 5 - 8
  • Regional & National Carpet Stewardship Dialogue – May 14 - 15
  • RCBC Zero Waste Conference – May 28 - 30
  • AOR Annual Conference – June 19 - 21
  • NW NAHMMA Conference – June 23 - 26

Product Stewardship Programs

PaintCare Oregon Gets 'Permanent' Status, Projects 40% Growth
The PaintCare Oregon program expects to add 20 new sites in the next few months. That will give PaintCare 140 total sites, up from the 100 it hosted in July when Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a measure that made the four-year-old program permanent—from Sustainable Business Oregon.

Mattress Stewardship Program Planning Proceeds in Connecticut and California
The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), the nonprofit stewardship organization of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), has requested Connecticut's approval to "require that the recycling fee collected by the retailer be paid directly to the recycling program, an approach also sought by retailers. Under the Connecticut law, the recycling fee will be identified in a separate line item on the consumer's receipt. Based on the approach that the MRC proposes, the retailer will not be required to pay that amount to the mattress manufacturer and the fee will not increase the retailer's cost of goods"—from Bed Times Magazine, the business journal of ISPA.

And in California, a clean-up bill to clarify language in last year's mattress stewardship law was introduced with the support of ISPA and the law's sponsor Senator Hancock.

Product Stewardship in the News

Ecology to Issue E-Cycle Washington Community Satisfaction Survey
The Washington Department of Ecology will be issuing to local governments their annual satisfaction survey asking them to rate their satisfaction with the E-Cycle Washington electronics recycling program. This year's survey will be done online using Survey Gizmo. Please fill out the survey if you see one in your inbox! If you would like to receive a survey please contact Miles Kuntz.

Paint Stewardship Programs Now in Seven States
Resource Recycling recently reported on the success of paint recycling across the U.S. With consumers and industry pushing for more environmentally conscious coatings technology, there are now more eco-friendly and sustainable products available. Despite more environmentally-friendly paint being developed and sold, unused paint remains one of the largest volume products collected by municipal HHW programs. PaintCare, a non-profit focusing on paint reuse and recycling, is now operational in Oregon and six other states: California (2010); Connecticut (2011), Rhode Island (2012), Minnesota (2013), Vermont (2013) and Maine (2013). The PaintCare program offers consumers and contractors more places to discard of leftover paint. So far, over 1.62 million gallons of paint have been collected with virtually all of the paint going to recycling or beneficial reuse.

Multi-Material BC Selects Green by Nature EPR to Manage Post-collection System
Multi-Material BC (MMBC) announced on February 27 that they have hired Green By Nature EPR (GBN) to manage the post-collection system for MMBC’s residential packaging and printed paper recycling program, which will begin delivering services to approximately 1.25 million households on May 19, 2014. GBN, an organization founded by leaders in the recycling industry, will be responsible for processing and marketing approximately 185,000 tons of packaging and printed paper material after it has been collected from curbside households, multi-family buildings, and depots across the province.

Resources & Reports

New White Paper Identifies Factors that Disrupt EPR System Efficiencies
A new white paper by Atalay Atasu, Nathan Kunz, Kieren Mayers and Luk Van Wassenhove (PDF) of the ISEAD Business School delved further into Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs and their inefficiencies and limitations in Europe. The report finds that there are five main factors that contributed to EPR inefficiencies and instability: 1. Commodity dynamics, 2. Volume dynamics, 3. Competition dynamics, 4. Regulatory dynamics, and 5. Design dynamics.
To help address these limiting factors, the white paper recommends flexible adaptation at national levels of limited number of general principles imposed by the European Commission; letting competing producer responsibility organizations (PRO’s) contribute to increasing performance and efficiency; opening EPR markets to competition; and, allowing PROs to take a role in providing stability to EPR markets.

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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