PSI's August 2012 Newsletter
Trends & Highlights in Product Stewardship
PSI News and Updates
Trends & Highlights in Product Stewardship
Dr. Michael Biddle becomes the 15th Member of the PSI Advisory Council
Dr. Michael Biddle recently joined as the 15th member of the Product Stewardship Institute Advisory Council, a high-level think tank of major public figures engaged in product stewardship. The Advisory Council supports PSI’s mission to reduce the public health and environmental impacts caused by everyday consumer products throughout their lifecycles. Mike Biddle is President and Founder of MBA Polymers, Inc., a multi-national company and the world’s leader in recovering plastics from end-of-life durable goods (i.e. computers, electronics, business equipment, appliances, and automobiles). For his achievements with MBA Polymers, Inc., Mike received the 2012 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, and his expertise and knowledge should be put to excellent use on the Advisory Council. PSI is excited to welcome Mike to the Council, and believe his leadership skills, business savvy, and commitment to the environment as Founder of MBA Polymers, Inc. will provide PSI with expert strategic advice to help direct the organization.
Alameda County Passes First-In-Nation Local Ordinance Requiring Drug Companies to Manage Medication Disposal
With a unanimous 5-0 decision, Alameda County, California passed the nation’s first local ordinance requiring pharmaceutical companies to finance the safe collection and management of waste-pharmaceuticals. The new legislation seeks to protect public health and the environment by helping to reduce prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings, aquatic impacts, and pollution of waterways. The Product Stewardship Institute, Product Policy Institute, and California Product Stewardship Council applauded the historic vote. The California Product Stewardship Council had created an online petition in support of this effort and PSI provided a letter of support and technical assistance to the Board of Supervisors and stakeholders in Alameda County. This ordinance also draws from related proposals, including a proposed ordinance introduced in San Francisco in 2010; state legislation over the past three years in WA, MN, MD, and ME; and a bill in Congress. Proponents of the ordinance hope that it will spur copycat legislation in other regions.
Packaging & Printed Materials
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PSI Reports on New York State’s E-waste Program
PSI recently completed a preliminary analysis of the first year of New York State’s (NYS) operational electronics producer responsibility program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. New York was the 22nd state to pass an extended producer responsibility law for electronics and the law benefited from the experience of previous programs. New York's law, which took effect on April 1, 2011, includes strong performance goals, as well as convenience and public disclosure requirements. The report found that the state's recycling program has made significant progress in expanding collection locations across the state and relieving the financial burden on local governments. However, there are areas of the state that have not seen the same level of improvement, specifically New York City. A more comprehensive review of the program's implementation is planned for the summer of 2012, after the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation releases the first-year collection data. For more information, please contact Sierra Fletcher, PSI Director of Policy and Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-236-4886.
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Pharmaceuticals: Great Lakes Pharmaceutical Meeting took place in June
On June 7 and 8, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Midwest Product Stewardship Council, PSI convened a meeting to build a strategy for expanding waste pharmaceutical collection in the Great Lakes region. The Summit focused on a high-level discussion of the testing and development of policies and practices aimed at addressing the public health and environmental impacts of unsafe home storage and disposal of unused and expired medications. 40 attendees, representing a diverse group of experts and policymakers from around the region, attended the meeting to discuss different models for creating a regional collection program. As a follow-up to the Summit, PSI is working with the University of Wisconsin Extension and other stakeholders to convene three workgroups focused on the main themes that emerged from the meeting; 1) support voluntary take-back programs, 2) coordinate consistent messaging efforts, and 3) promote EPR legislation efforts. Please contact Stefanie, Stefanie@productstewardship.us if you would like to participate in any of these workgroups.
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Phone Book Ordinance and Model Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
The City of Seattle completed the first year of its phone book opt-out program in May 2012, with 75,000 residents and businesses opting out of 420,000 unwanted phone book deliveries — over one-fifth of all Seattle households and businesses. PSI developed model legislation and a menu of options designed to reduce the distribution of unwanted phone books through consumer choice. The model legislation also includes provisions that require the directory publishers to provide recycling for phone books, recycled content standards, and language pertinent to both yellow pages and white pages, inclusive of the state or local level. For more information, please see PSI’s phone books webpage or contact Mike Younis, PSI Associate for Policy and Programs, at email@example.com or 617-236-4853.
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2012 Paint Stewardship Legislation
In June 2012 Rhode Island became the nation's fourth program requiring paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from households and painting contractors. Paint legislation is still pending in Minnesota, New York, and Vermont, and PSI continues to monitor the status of paint and other product stewardship legislation. PSI is also working closely with the paint industry to roll out national paint stewardship legislation in other states. In addition, PSI submitted a letter of support for the paint stewardship legislation that passed in Rhode Island and will actively support paint stewardship bills in conjunction with the paint industry at hearings. For more information, visit the PSI paint webpage, or contact Scott Cassel, PSI Founder and CEO, at Scott@producststewardship.us or 617-236-4822.
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PSI Launches Packaging & Printed Material Calls to Identify Solutions
PSI, in partnership with the National Recycling Coalition, has launched a series of three public technical conference calls to better understand key issues pertaining to the reduction, reuse, and recycling of packaging and printed materials. Over 120 attendees joined our first call on July 10, which examined the problems and opportunities for increasing recycling of packaging and printed materials by focusing on the data. The second call on July 25 explored public and private sector goals for increasing material recovery and barriers to achieving them. Our third call, which will be held on August 2nd, will discuss key strategies from both voluntary and mandatory approaches. These two-hour, highly interactive calls provide an easy way for participants to quickly get up to speed on all current initiatives, and to jointly discuss which strategies might lead to maximum recycling of all material types. Register today to engage in this important "work group" discussion, for less than a cost of a plane ticket and from the comfort of your own office! Access to the first and second call recordings, summaries, presentations, and background materials will be provided to all new registrants. In addition, registrants have access to a list serve developed to enhance the discussion between and after the call series.
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Connecticut Mattress Bill Makes Progress, but Does Not Pass
This legislative session Connecticut’s mattress EPR legislation, SB 89, passed in the Senate, but did not come up for vote in the House before the legislative session ended on May 9. This bill would have required mattress producers to finance and manage a mattress stewardship program by joining a single stewardship organization (a non-profit Mattress Recycling Council). The financing model would have been similar to Connecticut’s paint law, under which paint manufacturers pay a fee into the non-profit, which passes the cost to retailers who pass the cost to consumers. This legislation was the result of PSI’s National Mattress Stewardship Initiative, which began in 2010 with two stakeholder dialogue meetings in Connecticut. The meetings included stakeholders from Connecticut and around the country who worked together to define the problem, set goals, identify barriers, and outline strategies, including model legislation. PSI’s model served as the foundation for the Connecticut bill. PSI would like to commend the efforts of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra for his leadership on this issue as well as the hard work of his principal public works official Marilynn Cruz-Aponte, legislative consultant Peg Hall, Tom Metzner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and all other Connecticut stakeholders that were instrumental in moving the bill forward. For more information on legislative updates, visit PSI’s mattresses webpage, or contact Stefanie Wnuck, PSI Associate for Policy and Programs, at Stefanie@productstewardship.us or (617) 671-0616.
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PSI News and Updates
PSI Receives EPA Region 1 Merit Award
This May, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) received the 2012 Environmental Protection Agency Merit Award for its significant contributions toward preserving and protecting natural resources. EPA’s Environmental Merit Awards recognize outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant achievements in preserving and protecting our natural resources. Among other accolades, the award recognized PSI for its work in developing Maine’s cutting edge law in 2006 for mercury thermostats; its role in facilitating the national paint agreement’s key stakeholders, which led to the passage of Connecticut’s 2011 paint stewardship law; and for being at the center of the nation’s electronics recycling for 10 years.
PSI Releases HHW Curriculum for 4-6 graders
PSI recently released a curriculum on household hazardous waste targeted for grades 4-6. The curriculum, funded by a USDA grant, uses a hands-on approach to teaching about the environmental impacts of product waste. It includes various activities and resources for educators to engage their students in thinking critically about the consequences of everyday waste. Students can also learn to access easy-to-use company and community programs. The purpose of the curriculum is to provide formal and informal educators the tools to introduce waste management concepts to young learners. A copy of the curriculum can be found online.
PSI Florida Paint Briefing Paper Lays Groundwork for Future Industry Supported Legislation
PSI recently released a Briefing Paper that describes the existing paint management program in Florida, including several scenarios for increasing paint reuse, leftover paint recycling, and the sale of recycled paint. The Florida Chapter of NAHMMA contracted PSI to develop the Briefing Paper in order to build capacity and lay the groundwork for future industry supported paint stewardship legislation. PSI would like to thank Al Gomez, Bob Madden, and Rita Perini for their insight and leadership, which was integral for the success of this project. A copy of the Briefing Paper can be found online. If you have any questions about the Briefing Paper or are interested in developing a similar report for your community, please contact Mike Younis, PSI Associate for Policy and Programs, at Michael@productstewardship.us or 617-236-4853.
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In This Issue
Upcoming PSI Events and Appearances
Other Upcoming Events
Where Has PSI spoken recently?
Other Past Events
Articles of Interest
The Recycling Reflex
New York Times
July 25, 2012
Apple reverses EPEAT exit, will relist products
US wastes $11.4 billion a year by throwing away recyclables
Los Angeles Times
July 18, 2012
BC tops EPR stewardship report
Solid Waste and Recycling
July 16, 2012
Stay Connected with PSI!
PSI In the News
New Members and Partners Join PSI!
PSI welcomes the Marshall County Solid Waste, TN as our newest Full Government Member.
PSI would like to thank its renewing members,Boulder County, Colorado, Chittenden Solid Waste, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Hawaii Department of Health, Londonderry Solid Waste Group, VT, OR Department of Environmental Quality, WA Department of Ecology, Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District, VT, Rutland County, VT and City of Hartford, CT.
PSI welcomes GDB International and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as its newest Sustaining Partners, and CLF Ventures and Eco Cycle as its newest Organizational Partners, and DHL Envirosolutions, Steel Recycling Institute, SustainableBizness.com, and Peg Hall Consultancy as its newsest Corporate Partners.
PSI would like to thank its renewing Sustaining Partners: Multimaterials Stewardship Board, Hotz Environmental, Goodwill Industries, Earth911, Waste Management, and Call2Recycle, and its renewing Corporate and Organizational partners: Encorp Atlantic, Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), Laurentide re/Sources Inc., California Waste Solutions, Natural Resources Council of Maine, American Beverage Association, and Cactus, LLC.
Interested in PSI Membership or Partnership?
For more information, visit our website or contact Erin Linsky Graeber at 617-236-4866.
More About PSI
PSI promotes voluntary industry-led efforts and advocates for producer responsibility legislation.
PSI's work encompasses the entire product lifecycle, including design, manufacture, use, and end of life.