News & Press: PS Updates

PS Updates June 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Suzy Whalen
What Big Pharma Can Learn from the Paint Industry
PSI Chief Executive Officer and Founder Scott Cassel encourages the pharmaceutical industry to follow the path of the paint industry in collaborating with key stakeholders to develop model EPR legislation, thereby reaping the benefits such dialogue can bring. Read the complete story.

Supreme Court Rules on Alameda County Pharmaceutical EPR Program 
On May 26th, the US Supreme Court denied Big Pharma's petition to hear their case against the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, paving the way for other municipalities and states around the country to pursue similar take-back legislation. For more information, check out PSI's fact sheet exploring the implications of the Supreme Court decision, and another fact sheet outlining the history behind the case. For more details on the ruling, see PSI's press release and pharmaceuticals page

PSI, US EPA, and University of California Release Marine Debris Toolkit 
for Colleges and Universities

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9) and participation from the University of California (UC), PSI recently launched a Marine Debris Toolkit, designed to act as a model for campuses around the US to reduce plastic waste and eliminate marine debris. The Toolkit was tested through a two-year pilot project on three UC campuses (Santa Barbara, San Diego and Santa Clara), during which all three institutions dramatically reduced their plastics use. Learn more about the results of the Toolkit via PSI's summary fact sheet and press release.


In related news, Lincoln-Sudbury High School recently received EPA's President's Environmental Youth Award for their Ban the Bottle campaign. The club raised money to purchase two purified water fountain refilling stations, with the goal of decreasing the sale of single-use plastic water bottles to reduce plastic waste, thereby lessening energy use and mitigating climate change. During PSI's Marine Debris Toolkit project, we helped several campuses install water refilling stations to reduce plastic water bottles. 

Mark Your Calendars: Announcing Two PSI Events to Attend this Year
June 16 | Boston, MA (and via dial-in) | PSI Annual Members and Partners Meeting

Join us on this PSI community forum as we recap progress made this past year on product stewardship in the U.S. and plan for future priorities. We will also announce the 2016 Board of Directors. 


December 8-9 | Boston, MA | 2015 US Product Stewardship Forum & PSI's 15th Anniversary Celebration

Over the past 15 years, the product stewardship movement in the U.S. has grown steadily, with 88 extended producer responsibility laws passed on 12 products in 33 states. This year also marks PSI's 15th anniversary. Join us as we celebrate our progress, discuss current trends in the U.S. and globally, and examine future challenges and opportunities. Registration coming soon! 

Two US EPA Region 1 Awards Given to EPR Advocates

Connecticut State Representative Patricia Widlitz has been awarded an Environmental Merit Award for years of extended producer responsibility (EPR ) work. During her 20 years in the CT House of Representatives, Widlitz was instrumental in the passage of the state's electronics, paint, and mattress EPR laws, often working closely with PSI.


In the same vein, the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) was awarded a NY Environmental Champion award for Re-Clothe NY, a statewide clothing and textile reuse and recycling program. They have already collected over 100,000 pounds of textiles since November 2014. 

PSI is Holding Three Free Webinars in June, Focusing on Four Diverse Product Categories

On the Road After the Alameda Drug Take-Back Decision

Tuesday, June 9 from 2pm-3:30pm EDT

Our expert speakers will explore the legal and technical aspects of the Supreme Court's decision not to hear Big Pharma's petition against the Alameda County drug take-back ordinance, and the effect it will have on state and local governments.   


Batteries: The Canadian Way 

Tuesday, June 23 from 1pm-2:30pm EDT

Canada has led the way in North America in enacting laws that require battery manufacturers to finance and operate collection and recycling programs. Come join our panel of speakers as they discuss current challenges and successes, and lend insight into how battery stewardship programs have performed in Canada.

Carpet and Mattress Stewardship in Rural Areas 

Tuesday, June 30 from 2pm-3:30pm EDT

This fourth and final webinar in our series on product stewardship solutions in rural areas will assist solid waste collectors in planning for the management of carpet and mattresses-two bulky, difficult-to-handle items that require certain infrastructure to be reused or recycled.

Udall-Vitter Bill Gains Momentum through Support from EPA and EDF
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently announced their support for a bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) that preempts local government action. The bipartisan Udall-Vitter Bill is intended to reform TCSA and grant more power to EPA to regulate toxic substances. While many agree that TSCA is in desperate need of reform, there is some concern among environmental advocates and state and local government officials that the bill will reduce a state's authority to regulate chemicals too dramatically.  

Ontario Waste Management Association Promotes EPR 
The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) released ReThink Waste: Evolution Towards a Circular Economy, a report that documents nine recommendations for developing a sustainable and productive waste management plan, with the first two focusing specifically on EPR. The report offers practical actions that the Ontario government can take to improve resource efficiency, reduce its environmental footprint, increase productivity, and drive local jobs and economic growth.

The Ocean State Jumps into Packaging Stewardship with New Bill
Based on model legislation developed by Upstream, State Representatives Blazejewski, Maldonado, Fogarty, Carson, and Tanzihas recently introduced H6095, a bill that would implement a shared responsibility model for recycling packaging in Rhode Island. If enacted, the law would establish a multi-stakeholder advisory council to craft and implement a plan to increase recycling and composting for packaging.

Europe's Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) is Expanding its Network
EXPRA, the European Union's non-profit organization that acts as an alliance for EPR-centric packaging waste recovery and recycling systems, has welcomed two new members: ETO from Estonia and VAL-I-PAC from Belgium. The addition of these two non-profits brings EXPRA's membership to 23 total producer responsibility organizations (PROs) (out of a potential thirty total members) in only two years- a number that shows great promise in joining together all producer-obliged waste recovery systems on the continent.

NPR | May 26 | Connecticut Introduces the Nation's First Mattress Recycling Program

Wall Street Journal | May 26 | Pharmaceutical Industry Must Pay for Drug Take-Back Programs

Wall Street Journal | May 1 | Pharma Frets as Local Governments Adopt Take-Back Programs

Wall Street Journal | March 25 | San Francisco May Be the First Major US City with a Drug Take-Back Program


June 3 | Denver, CO | Association for Conflict Resolution, Environment and Public Policy Section | Building the First Paint Partnership
Scott Cassel, PSI Chief Executive Officer and Founder, and Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, Executive Director of PaintCare, discussed how PSI, as a non-neutral facilitator and mediator, brought industry, government, and other stakeholders together to create the first consensus-based manufacturer-funded stewardship program in the US.  

June 10 | Indianapolis, IN | Indiana Recycling Coalition Conference | Hot Topics in EPR and E-Scrap Recycling Workshop
PSI Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Scott Cassel, will discuss the current status of four significant EPR programs in the US - pharmaceuticals, electronics, paint and mattresses. He will also participate in a subsequent workshop that discusses changes needed to Indiana's e-scrap program.