NWPSC October Newsletter

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October 2014

In the News

Court Upholds Alameda County’s Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance
On Sept. 30th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the pharmaceutical industry associations’ challenge to Alameda County’s 2012 medicine take-back law. The lawsuit against Alameda County is similar to a lawsuit against King County’s Secure Medicine Return Regulations. With this decision King County's extended implementation deadlines are now active; drug manufacturers who sell covered products in King County must submit a draft stewardship plan by Feb. 12, 2015. The San Francisco Chronicle and Wall Street Journal have further coverage of the Alameda ruling.

California Passes Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban
On Sept. 30, California Governor Brown signed into law the "nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags – SB 270." The law "prohibits grocery stores and pharmacies from distributing single-use plastic bags after July 2015 and enacts the same ban for convenience stores and liquor stores the following year. It will also provide up to $2 million in competitive loans – administered by CalRecycle – to businesses transitioning to the manufacture of reusable bags."

On Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
UPSTREAM (formerly known as the Product Policy Institute) recently featured two thought-provoking pieces on EPR: on September 29 by Dick Lilly of Seattle Public Utilities and the NWPSC, and October 9 by Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA, on the perspective from Europe.

Product Stewardship Programs

Ecology Looks to Expand Products Accepted in E-Cycle Washington Program
The Washington Department of Ecology has submitted a proposal to the Governor’s office to amend the definitions in the Electronic Product Recycling Law to include additional electronic products. Ecology proposes to amend the authorizing law by expanding the definition of “covered electronic product” to include certain “peripheral” devices including computer keyboards and mice, external hard drives, printers, video game consoles, cassette recorders/players (VCRs), digital video recorders (DVRs), and digital video diss players (DVDs). For more information view Ecology's Focus Sheet (PDF).

Updated Washington Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program Plan
The Mercury-Lights Product Stewardship Program Plan (PDF) was recently updated based on comments (PDF) received during review. Portions of the Plan are still in process, such as the collection network, and are noted by PCA Product Stewardship, Inc, the stewardship organization implementing the plan. The Updated Plan was conditionally approved by the Department of Ecology on August 29, 2014. The Conditional Approval Letter (PDF) outlines the conditions required to be completed before final approval of the Plan will be granted to PCA — from the Washington Mercury Lights Product Stewardship website.

Upcoming Events

  • 5th Safer Consumer Products Summit: Oct. 22-24
  • Northwest Green Chemistry Roundtable: Oct. 28
  • GreenScreen Chemical Hazard Assessment Training: Oct. 29
  • Understanding the Impacts of the DEA's Drug Take-Back Rule (webinar): Oct. 30
  • Battery Stewardship Developments in the U.S. (webinar): Nov. 5
  • Reducing Plastic Marine Debris Through Source Reduction on College Campuses (webinar): Nov. 10
  • EPA Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) webinar: The Changing "Waste" Stream: Nov. 13

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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