PSI Webinar 9th Series April - June 2010

9th Networking Conference Call Series
April - June 2010

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The Life of a Solar Panel:
Minimizing Environmental Impacts
Wednesday, April 21st
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Overview: The U.S. solar industry is forecast to grow by 7.4 GW in 2010, bringing cumulative energy output from installed solar panels to more than 25 GW. Though photovoltaic cells capture power for lighting, heating, cooling, IT, and entertainment needs, the cells may contain toxic substances, such as lead, cadmium, and selenium. What happens when the cells are no longer useable? Are toxic materials used in solar panel manufacturing? On this call, speakers will provide an overview of the lifecycle impacts of solar panels, share information about steps manufacturers are taking to provide for the safe recycling of their products in Europe, and consider related infrastructure and policy issues important in the US.

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Moderator: Sierra Fletcher, (PSI)
Presenters: Dustin Mulvaney, (University of California, Berkeley)
Ben Santarris, (SolarWorld Industries America)
Sheila Davis, (Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition)

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Plastic Bags: What’s the Fuss? What’s the Cure?
Thursday, May 6th
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Overview: Plastic bags are ubiquitous in the environment. Policymakers, companies, and advocates around the world are developing solutions to reduce the use of these bags, seek alternatives, and promote recycling. What's the best way to meet consumer's needs while still reducing waste and protecting the environment? What decisions should be up to the consumer, and where does product stewardship policy fit in? Fees, bans, education, and other measures are being implemented in the U.S. and overseas. On this call, speakers will characterize the impacts of bags, and discuss a range of policy and program approaches currently being implemented.

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Moderator: Sierra Fletcher (PSI)
Presenters: Phil Bobel, (Environmental Compliance, City of Palo Alto, CA)
Jerry Fleagle, (Iowa Grocery Industry Association)
Carol Misseldine, (Green Cities California)

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Safer Cosmetic Products:
Product Stewardship Meets Chemicals Policy
Wednesday, May 12th
12:00 - 1:30 PM EST / 9:00 - 10:30 AM PST

Overview: Most of us use cosmetic products every day, such as shampoo, moisturizers, toothpaste, nail polish, and make-up. But a number of organizations have sounded alarms that ingredients commonly found in many of these products may be harmful to our health (during use) and the environment (when disposed). This call will review the issues that the safer cosmetics movement is raising, and the industry's response. What are the areas of agreement and disagreement? Which companies should you support, and what products should you avoid? We will introduce you to the Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" cosmetic safety database, which rates the health risks associated with more than 50,000 cosmetic products, as well as the more than 1,400 companies that have stepped forward to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge of safety and transparency. The call will include a discussion of public policy challenges, state chemicals policy initiatives, the need for federal action, and which companies are proactively moving toward safer products. The call will also include a lively discussion about what those of us working on product stewardship can learn from, and contribute to, the safer cosmetics movement. In addition, this call will feature the latest research on cosmetics safety, including a new report to be released on May 12.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Rebecca Sutton, (Environmental Working Group)
Lisa Archer, (Breast Cancer Fund)

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Managing Food Waste:
Opportunities for Product Stewardship
Tuesday, May 25th
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Overview: According to the US EPA, leftover food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste. To date, little organic waste is diverted from the waste stream. Approximately 96 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year, racking up one billion dollars in disposal costs. Food waste is particularly important, as it is a unique issue in product stewardship with special questions and concerns. Hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants all generate large quantities of leftover food, but technically, farmers are the manufacturers. Who should be responsible for the costs associated with food waste product stewardship programs? How can a product stewardship approach reduce food waste and increase composting? This call will explore the application of product stewardship to the organic waste issue through presentations by a state official, a company leader, and an experienced consultant.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Morgan Harriman, (MA Department of Environmental Protection),
Sumner Martinson, (MA Department of Environmental Protection)
Lorenzo Macaluso, (Center for Ecological Technology)
Hermine Weston, (Shriners Hospital)

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Product Stewardship Laws for Electronics in the U.S.: Learning Through Experience
Thursday, June 3rd
2:00 - 3:30 PM EST / 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST

Overview: There are now 20 electronics product stewardship laws in America, more than any other product category, and state officials now have significant experience managing these type of systems. Many of these e-scrap laws are viewed by others as models for producer responsibility systems for other products. On this call, you will hear from five state officials (all PSI members) who are running the country’s most advanced e-scrap management systems, including four producer responsibility systems (ME, WA, OR, and MN) and one advanced recycling fee system (CA). This call will feature a facilitated panel discussion with integrated telephone audience participation. We will explore the actual performance of these programs, what has worked well, what have been the biggest challenges, opportunities for harmonization through common elements, and how we can apply lessons learned to other product stewardship programs.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Garth Hickle, (MN Pollution Control Agency)
Kathy Kiwala, (OR Department of Environmental Quality)
Miles Kuntz, (WA Department of Ecology)
Carole Cifrino, (ME Department of Environmental Protection)
Jeff Hunts, (CA Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery)

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Life Cycle Thinking for Product Stewardship Professionals
Wednesday, June 9th
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Overview: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method used to model the complex interaction between a product and the environment from cradle to grave, and provides a method to measure the ecological footprint of a certain product or service. This technique can be used to compare various product end-of-life management strategies, and is becoming increasingly prevalent in managing, reporting, and reducing greenhouse gas inventories. LCA allows us to look at products, technologies, and management practices in a holistic way that considers energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and other life-cycle environmental tradeoffs, as well as cost. On this call, three experts–from USEPA, academia, and a non-profit group–will provide a general overview on the use of LCA and show how to apply these techniques to managing products at end of life, and throughout the product lifecycle. Managing products throughout their lifecycle allows for better implementation of product stewardship programs by identifying additional ways to reduce a product’s environmental impacts. You will learn how to maximize materials recovery (in a more efficient way) while minimizing burdens from managing waste.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Jon Dettling, (Quantis)
Susan Thorneloe, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Laura Draucker, (World Resources Institute)

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Comments from Local and State Governments

"Thank you—This was a very informative and efficient way to reach a number of people."
Dianne Woske
Fulton County D.S.W.

"...your calls are top-notch. Couldn't be better...A+."
William D'Alessandro
Victor House News Co.

"It is a good way to gather and share information without having to schedule a trip to another location."
Stephanie Lauster
Pinellas County, FL

"Excellent program and I look forward to participating in the future."
John Malter
Mad River Solid Waste Alliance

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