NWPSC February 2015 Newsletter

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February 2015


Washington Paint Bill Introduced
HB 1571 (Peterson), industry-backed paint stewardship legislation, was introduced on Jan. 23. The bill will be heard Thurs. Feb. 5 (TVW video) before the House Environment Committee (Committee agenda). HB 1571 is supported by local governments, paint manufacturers, and environmental organizations and requires producers of architectural paint to participate in a stewardship program to manage leftover paint. A stewardship program must collect leftover oil-based and latex paint and provide reasonably convenient statewide collection locations such as paint retail stores and Moderate Risk Waste facilities, must promote the program to customers, and must follow the waste management hierarchy for paint: reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal. Paint stewardship legislation has passed in 8 other states and Washington is the only state on the West Coast without a paint stewardship program.

Ecology Plans E-Cycle Expansion for 2016
The Washington Dept. of Ecology plans to conduct a stakeholder process in 2015 to gather input on expanding and strengthening the E-Cycle Washington electronics stewardship program to include peripheral electronic products (such as printers, keyboards, and mice). The intent will be to submit a draft bill to the Governor's Office this summer in preparation for the 2016 legislative session. The Oregon E-Cycles electronics stewardship program similarly expanded covered products on Jan. 1, 2015.

News & Resources

Producer Responsibility: A New Way to Finance Recycling
As garbage tonnage decreases, so does the revenue to fund recycling programs. Upstream, while acknowledging that the "100% producer-financed and controlled model" of product stewardship is controversial, highlights other creative solutions to finance recycling and infrastructure improvements on their Upstream blog.

Product Stewardship and Coordinated Prevention Grants: FAQ
With LightRecycle Washington underway, Washington local governments may have questions about how the program affects Coordinated Prevention Grants (CPG): read the Washington Dept. of Ecology's FAQ on CPG and Product Stewardship.

New French Law for Longer-Lasting Products
Beginning in March 2015, France will require retailers to inform customers of "how long spare parts will be available for the products they buy." According to an article in RREUSE, "consumer goods are now less durable and repairable than in the past" and one of the main obstacles to extending the lifetime of a broken product is the difficulties when attempting to repair them. RREUSE Director Michal Len said "Transparency around future spare part availability could and should become a point of competition between brands. It would also be a first step to allowing consumers to better assess the likely longevity of a new product which currently is near to impossible." (via UPSTREAM)

Reuse and Repair Ecolabel Launched in Sweden
The Swedish ecolabel, Miljönär, will be funded by municipalities to promote reuse and repair with the idea that "you can get rich by sharing, repairing and reusing and thereby reducing waste," according to an article in European Environment and Packaging Law. The ecolabel will be on "businesses that extend products' lives, such as shoe repair or second-hand shops, rather than on products." (via UPSTREAM)

New York City Bans Polystyrene Foam
Starting in July 2015, New York City will join more than 100 jurisdictions in the U.S. that have banned expanded polystyrene foam packaging. In a New York Times op-ed, Mark Bittman notes that "municipalities and sometimes even states are asserting themselves against the "right" of industry to sell whatever it wants, and more of the public is willing to have government alter its behavior when the reasons are sound... That combination is leading to victories for the environmental and public health movements, and it’s changing people’s behavior."

Upcoming Events

  • Increasing Packaging Recycling in the U.S. (webinar): Feb. 5, 11am-12pm Pacific
  • Progressing EPR in Ontario: Moving Toward a Circular Economy (forum): Feb. 5-6, Toronto, Canada
  • Connecting Rural HHW Program Managers to Manufacturer-Funded Take-Back Programs (webinar): Feb. 12, 11am Pacific
  • Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) Annual Conference: May 17-20, Spokane, WA

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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