Big Steps for Product Stewardship Movement
Media Contact: Scott Cassel, Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. – 617-236-4822, email@example.com
Four New Laws Impact Recycling or Safe Disposal of Paint, Phone Books, Carpet and Medicines
October 13, 2010 – Product Stewardship, the rapidly growing movement that engages manufacturers in reducing the health and environmental impacts of their products, received a recent boost through legislative action at the local, state, and federal levels. The four new laws impact the recycling or safe disposal of products as diverse as paint, phone books, carpet, and medicines.
Two new laws passed in California at the end of September shift the responsibility for collecting and managing waste carpet and paint off of taxpayers and local governments and onto the manufacturers and consumers of these products. The carpet law is the first of its kind for this product, while the paint law is based on a model first passed in Oregon in July 2009. The model is the result of a national agreement facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI), which convened paint manufacturers, retailers, contractors, recyclers, and government officials to jointly develop an environmentally sound and economically efficient solution to the leftover paint problem.
“PSI’s unique process of engaging government and industry stakeholders, and incorporating all interests into the solution, helped us develop a state model that can be replicated across the country instead of having a patchwork of laws,” said Alison Keane, Counsel for the American Coatings Association.
At the local level, the City of Seattle has decided that it is fed up with bearing the $148 per-ton cost of managing phone directories left on doorsteps and in entryways. In addition to requiring the telephone directory publishers to offset this cost by paying a fee to the city, a new ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council on Monday will create a third-party system for consumers to opt-out of receiving a telephone directory. PSI, which has been working to reduce phone book waste for the past four years, has created a model bill for states and municipalities that are ready to follow Seattle’s lead.
“The City Council has heard from an overwhelming number of people who don’t want phone books,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, the prime sponsor of the new Seattle ordinance. “This law will help reduce waste, increase recycling, and save Seattle residents money.”
Finally, at the federal level, the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act (S 3397) was signed into law yesterday. This law will reduce the cost of drug take-back programs and increase the accessibility of collections. An increasing number of communities are providing secure take-back programs to fight drug abuse, reduce the chances of accidental poisonings, and keep pharmaceutical drugs out of the environment. PSI worked with a unique coalition of state and local governments, organizations, and companies, as well as Congressional offices and Executive agencies to support this statutory change.
“These diverse new legislative developments represent significant momentum around the country that PSI has helped create,” says Scott Cassel, PSI Executive Director. “The state and local governments charged with protecting our environment and public health from the unintended impacts of consumer products are increasingly turning to product stewardship policies. True product sustainability requires incorporating a product’s lifecycle cost into its purchase price.”
Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI) is a national non-profit environmental institute with membership from 46 states, more than 200 local governments, and more than 60 businesses, organizations, universities, and non-U.S. governments. PSI’s mission is to pursue initiatives to ensure that all those involved in the lifecycle of a product share responsibility for reducing its health and environmental impacts, with producers bearing primary financial responsibility. For more information, please visit www.productstewardship.us , or separate web pages for phone books, paint, or pharmaceuticals.