News & Press: PSI Newsletter

PSI Quarterly Winter 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Suzy Whalen

Promote Drug Take-Back Nationally: Sign PSI's Support Letter 
In the coming month, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY) will introduce the Federal Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act, a bill that would require pharmaceutical companies to manage and finance the safe collection and disposal of their products nationwide. PSI worked with the Congresswoman's staff to develop the bill, which is consistent with the six local ordinances passed in California and Washington, and is based on PSI's menu of legislative options for pharmaceutical EPR, which includes key elements that PSI has refined over the past five years. PSI will submit a letter to the Congresswoman's office expressing support for the federal bill. Please consider signing onto this letter by adding your agency, company, or organization to the list of signees by filling out this form by Thursday, January 28th. Your signature will get us one step closer to decreasing the negative effects that unwanted pharmaceuticals can have on public health and the environment. Once the bill is introduced, we will make it available to you. Thank you, in advance, for your support. For more information, please contact Vivian Futran Fuhrman at (617) 236-4771. 

PSI Hosts Local Government Strategy Call on State E-Scrap Recycling Laws
In response to requests for assistance, PSI hosted local government officials from Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin on a January 20th web call to address challenges in implementing existing electronics recycling laws, and to share potential legislative strategies that would address the problems faced by local government agencies. PSI's Waneta Trabert and Resa Dimino provided an update on the current state of electronics recycling programs in the U.S., while local government officials from New York and Illinois provided advice on how to coordinate local support to pass legislation in their respective states. The information provided on this call is relevant to local governments in other states working on electronics recycling. For more information, please contact Waneta Trabert at (617) 236-4866. 

New Project: Phone Book Opt-Out Made Simple with PSI's Upcoming Toolkit Project
Unwanted yellow pages directories are a waste of resources: each year the industry uses an estimated 4.68 million trees' worth of wood fiber. They are also a burden on local governments, who pay nearly $60 million annually in recycling and disposal costs for unwanted phone books. 
Thanks to funding from the Merck Family Fund, PSI is developing a Toolkit that local governments can use to encourage residents to opt out. The Toolkit will include flyers, social media posts, graphics, and other communication tools that make it easy for local governments to promote opt out through Catalog Choice, a free, transparent, one-stop website for opting out of catalogs, junk mail, phone books, and more. 
The Toolkit will be released in the spring.  For more information, please contact Sydney Hausman-Cohen at (617) 236-4853.

Connecticut Recycling Coalition Conference Welcomes PSI's Scott Cassel
This week, PSI's chief executive officer and founder, Scott Cassel, will join recycling and materials management experts in Southington, Connecticut to discuss national trends in product stewardship at the 2016 Connecticut Recycling Conference & Trade Show. The product stewardship panel will begin with an introduction by CT State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., co-chairman of the Environment Committee. Scott will then join Tom Metzner from the CT Department of Energy and Environment and industry representatives of Connecticut's mattress, paint, and electronics programs to share product stewardship priorities at the international, national, regional, and state levels. View the agenda and register today

Massachusetts Paint Bill Passes Senate, Moves to House
On January 21, the Massachusetts Senate voted (25-11) in favor of Senate Bill 2052: An Act establishing the paint stewardship program. This extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill would create an industry-funded and managed paint recycling program in the state, similar to laws passed in eight states and the District of Columbia. All nine U.S. laws are based on the model facilitated by PSI in collaboration with the American Coatings Association and other stakeholders. The MA bill will now move to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration. 
Over the past several weeks, members of the Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council have worked tirelessly with PSI to demonstrate local government support for the bill, through letters of support and calls to Senate members. Learn more about the bill, and how you can help it pass the Massachusetts House, on the PSI website. For more information, feel free to contact Sydney Hausman-Cohen at (617) 236-4853. 

New Jersey Electronics and Paint EPR Bills Vetoed by Governor Chris Christie
Two New Jersey product stewardship bills - one to improve the state's current e-scrap law (S2973), and another to establish a manufacturer-run paint stewardship program (S1420/A1603) - were pocket vetoed by Governor Chris Christie this week. Christie's office claimed insufficient time to consider the large number of bills passed at the end of the session. These two bills had broad stakeholder and legislative support, and would have reduced local government costs and improved recovery of valuable materials. 

Indiana Packaging EPR Bill Introduced
Authored by Senator Mark Stoops (D-IN) and introduced on January 15th, Senate Bill 386 would require producers of waste packaging and printed paper to fund and manage the proper disposal of their products. The bill also establishes two state recycling goals: 1) recycling 50% of all household packaging and printed paper by July 1, 2022, and 2) recycling 60% of all household packaging and printed paper by July 1, 2025. PSI members and partners can track this bill's status - and others - by reading PSI's biweekly legislative updates emails.
California Mattress Recycling Program in Full Swing
As of January 1, 2016, residents of California have a convenient, environmentally friendly way to dispose of their old mattresses. Funded through an $11 visible fee on mattress and box spring purchases, the Bye Bye Mattress program serves to divert bulky, hard-to-manage mattresses from landfills. The program was created as a result of the passage of California's mattress extended producer responsibility (EPR) law, which makes the mattress industry responsible for recycling discarded mattresses. California's law is based on the Connecticut mattress EPR law, developed under the leadership of the CT Department of Energy and Environment with research and facilitation support from PSI over a three-year time period. 

Call2Recycle Sets Battery Recycling Record in 2015
Last year, North America's largest battery stewardship organization - Call2Recycle - collected and recycled over 12.6 million pounds of batteries throughout the U.S. and Canada, a 5% increase from the year prior, and an all-time record for the organization. Call2Recycle says this increase is due to greater resident awareness of the need for battery recycling. The organization has established nearly 30,000 collection locations across the U.S. and Canada, with more than 90% of residents in the two countries living within 10 miles of a drop-off location. 

President Obama Signs Microbead Ban into Law 
Microbeads - tiny plastic particles added to many facial soaps, body cleansers, toothpastes, and other "wash off cosmetics"- are now banned in the U.S (production must stop by July 1, 2017; sales must cease July 1, 2018). President Obama signed the "Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015" into law in late December with the goal of protecting the nation's waterways. Plastic beads contain harmful chemicals, and attract and concentrate pollutants found in water. 
The law includes a preemption clause, meaning that any previous local or state law that covers similar products is now void. State and local governments are free to pursue laws to ban microbeads in "non-wash off cosmetics."

Éco Entreprises Quebec (ÉEQ) Reveals First Steps in their Innovative Glass Works Plan
In 2015, ÉEQ announced a major investment dedicated to finding a solution to recycle 100% of Québec's glass. This month, the company revealed the first three components of what they have termed their Innovative Glass Works Plan. Investments representing $6.7 million will go toward improving glass recovery and recycling within Québec's single stream collection program by modernizing sorting centers and developing new market outlets. For more details, see ÉEQ's latest press release

PSI Speaking Engagements
Webinars & Online Events
  • Program Analyst - Grade 12| DC Department of Energy and Environment, Office of Waste Diversion | Applications due by January 27, 2016 (more details)
  • Program Analyst - Grade 11 | DC Department of Energy and Environment, Office of Waste Diversion | Applications due by February 5, 2016 (more details)
For real-time updates on the newest product stewardship jobs, visit PSI's Career Center