News & Press: For Immediate Release

Extended Producer Responsibility Programs Proven Successful in Connecticut

Tuesday, January 31, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Suzy Whalen
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2017

Contact:
Scott Cassel, PSI – scott@productstewardship.us - (617) 236-4822
Suzy Whalen, PSI – suzy@productstewardship.us – (617) 236-8293


Extended Producer Responsibility Programs Proven Successful in Connecticut
New data-driven report reveals cost savings, environmental benefits, and jobs created

Boston — Today, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) released the nation’s first statewide evaluation examining the environmental and economic impacts of Connecticut’s four extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws for paint, mattresses, mercury thermostats, and electronics. In total, these four programs have diverted 26 million pounds of material from waste, saved Connecticut municipalities and taxpayers more than $2.6 million per year, provided additional services worth another $6.7 million, and created over 100 jobs.

Funded by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Quality (CT DEEP), the study reveals how these programs contribute to the state’s environmental goals. For instance, the mandatory thermostat collection program plays a critical role in diverting mercury, a toxic material; Connecticut’s mercury recovery rate has increased from an average of 17 pounds annually to 27 pounds annually thanks to the program. Due to increased mattress recycling, the state achieved greenhouse gas emissions savings of 4.2 million kilograms of carbon equivalent in 2016, equal to the emissions from 875 passenger vehicles.

“While each program comes with its own set of successes and challenges, all of Connecticut’s EPR programs have reduced waste, increased recycling, saved taxpayers money, and created recycling jobs,” said Scott Cassel, chief executive officer and founder of PSI. “The most effective programs – like the paint program – were put in place by model laws created through collaboration between governments, industry, and other stakeholders.”

The state’s paint program recovered 51 percent (or over 320,000 gallons) of all leftover paint generated in the state in 2016. The high collection rate can be partly attributed to an increase in the number of collection sites: in 2011, the state had only 8 paint recycling locations; by the second year of the program (2015), residents had access to 140 sites.

Connecticut’s paint law is directly based on a national model EPR program mediated by PSI with the paint industry, state and local governments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recyclers, and other key stakeholders. The resulting eco-fee financing mechanism, key to the national agreement, is the first product stewardship system in the U.S. that is consumer-funded but industry-managed.

On top of their environmental benefits, Connecticut’s EPR programs also offer significant cost savings for taxpayers and local governments. For instance, in 2014 alone, the electronics program reduced municipal disposal costs by more than $528,000, not including avoided disposal costs. In addition to those savings, the program provided financial benefits in the form of no-cost recycling services worth an additional $4.4 million.

“Connecticut’s four EPR programs address products that are particularly problematic for local governments to manage,” said Brian Bartram, chair of the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council. “As the study reveals, the introduction of these industry-financed programs has saved local municipalities millions of dollars since their inception, allowing them to use those funds for critical services like police, fire, and education."

Visit the evaluation to learn more about the study results and recommendations.

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About the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)

PSI is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., PSI takes a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues. With 47 state environmental agency members, along with hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, and 110 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

 

About the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council (CT PSC)
The Connecticut Product Stewardship Council is an unincorporated entity, emerging as a grass-roots collaboration of state, regional, and municipal groups, as well as individuals.  Members and Partners in the CTPSC recognize and support Product Stewardship (Extended Producer Responsibility) as an important approach to managing environmental impacts. 


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