PSI 11th Webinar Series April - July 2011

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Making the Transition: Managing Household Hazardous Waste in Future Product Stewardship Programs
Thursday, April 21st
2:00 -3:30 PM EST / 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM PST

Overview: Thirty years ago, a local government official named Dave Galvin coined the term "household hazardous waste” (HHW) to describe the numerous household products containing the same hazardous substances found in industrial settings. Since that time, state and local governments have established permanent collection sites, one-day events, and a myriad of other collection opportunities to safely manage their residents’ paint, pesticides, batteries, mercury products, and other hazardous products. Over the past ten years, a growing number of voluntary industry-funded programs, as well as those operated under extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws, have created a myriad of disparate collection alternatives, many of which are not fully integrated with the extensive network of publicly-funded HHW programs. If these systems are not coordinated, we risk having inconvenient industry-funded systems that require consumers to drop off different products in different locations, or publicly-funded systems that provide consumer convenience but have insufficient capacity to keep up with the quantity, complexity, and expense of our growing waste stream. HHW collection sites provide an established network of trained professionals capable of collecting a diverse array of hazardous household products. But the challenge we face is how to fund these programs to provide adequate service. In this webinar, speakers will reflect on how the EPR movement has changed the way that HHW is collected and financed in the U.S., how the roles for local and state government officials and other stakeholders has evolved, and what we need to do to develop a more fully integrated system. We will also learn about how multiple HHW products are collected together under EPR systems in Canada, and whether such a system could work in the U.S.

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Moderator:Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Dave Galvin, (King County Department of Natural Resources, WA)
Mark Kurschner (ProductCare)
Jim Quinn (Metro Regional Government, OR)

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Lessons Learned from U.S. Electronics Recycling Laws:
Designing New and Better Systems
Wednesday, May 11th
2:00 – 3:30 PM EST / 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST

Overview: Twenty-four states now have electronics extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws, which vary substantially in terms of which products they cover, how program performance is measured, overall performance targets, reporting requirements, and other program aspects. This call will outline the most important elements of a strong product stewardship law, explain state and regional variations, and trace the evolution of program development. The webinar will provide excellent advice for states that have not yet passed an electronics EPR law, as well as those looking to strengthen an existing system. We will hear from state and local officials who have been the champions behind the passage and implementation of their state laws. They will discuss the model they used as a starting point for developing their legislation, which aspects are most important to resolve in legislation, which issues can be handled during implementation, and the important lessons they learned in the implementation of their laws. Prior to the webinar, PSI will provide registrants with a "lessons learned” fact sheet to best prepare them for lively discussion on this actively facilitated call.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel (PSI)
Presenters: Garth Hickle, (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
Carole Cifrino, (ME Department of Environmental Protection)
Tom Metzner, (CT Department of Environmental Protection)
Kathy Kiwala, (OR Department of Environmental Quality)
Cathy Jamieson, (VT Department of Environmental Conservation)
Sarah Murray, (WI Department of Natural Resources)
Guy Watson, (NJ Department of Environmental Protection)

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Who Pays for EPR?
Producers, Consumer Fees, Taxes, and Political Perceptions
Wednesday, May 18th
1:00 to 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Overview: Extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship systems shift the cost of managing products from local and state government to producers and consumers, and seek to lower overall system costs. Some conservative lawmakers have labeled this shift in costs as a tax on consumers. They reason that consumers should not have to pay added costs for products if there is no corresponding reduction of taxes. This was the argument that Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor, used to twice veto paint EPR legislation that overwhelmingly passed the state legislature, citing the concern that residents would pay twice – once for the fee on each can of paint and a second time because they are already paying for paint collection through municipally-run household hazardous waste programs.

Others see this argument as missing the point of EPR systems, since added costs paid by consumers go toward more convenient collection services and higher performing systems that remove more products from the waste stream and protect the environment. These EPR advocates see the added consumer cost, whether it is noted on the customer’s receipt or not, as an investment in greater environmental protection, along with green jobs. They also view EPR programs as lowering the overall system cost and shifting toward a smaller government role in waste management. Further complicating the issue is whether the fees are visible to the consumer or invisible. Some Canadian provinces, such as Quebec, require fees to be invisible, so that producer costs are internalized to more closely reflect the true cost of production. Other provinces, such as British Columbia, allow producers and retailers to determine whether the fee is visible. Visible fees were at the center of consumer controversy and political upheaval in Ontario last year. Although most U.S. EPR laws do not specify a specific per-product fee be passed along to the consumer, but instead internalize the costs completely, paint laws passed in Oregon and California do include a fee, as does the California carpet law. This webinar will explore the differences between the funding structures employed in EPR and more traditional tax-and-spend systems of environmental management, as well as the public and political perception of such programs.

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Moderator: Sierra Fletcher, (PSI)
Presenters: Alison Keane, (American Coatings Association)
Melissa Walsh Innes, (Maine State Representative)
Jennifer Mendez, (Carpet and Rug Institute)
Sego Jackson, (Snohomish County, WA)
Garth Hickle, (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)This webinar is co-sponsored by: Return to TopGreen Chemistry and the Manufacture of Non-toxic Drugs
Thursday, June 9th
2:00 - 3:30 PM EST / 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST

Overview: Green chemistry is a research and engineering approach to designing chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous substances. Pharmaceutical production uses chemistry to create compounds that have a specific effect on the body for the purpose of making us healthy. However, the production of some pharmaceutical drugs can involve the release of toxic substances during manufacturing, and others may impact the health of aquatic species once excreted. Learn what companies are doing to apply green chemistry principles to pharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing, and what policies and programs are intended to promote the design of drugs that can be excreted or disposed without environmental impact on aquatic and other species while still providing the intended health benefit for patients.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Richard Williams, (Environmental Science & Green Chemistry Consulting)
Julie Becker, (Women's Health & Environmental Network)
Anna Gilmore Hall, (Healthcare Without Harm)
Scott Goldie, (Food and Drug Administration)

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Promoting the Extraction of Virgin Materials:
How Subsidies Impact Product Sustainability
Wednesday, June 15,
2:00 – 3:30 PM EST / 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PST

Overview: Product stewardship policies seek to reduce the health and environmental impacts from consumer products all across their lifecycle, from mining to manufacture and through to recycling or disposal. However, economic incentives that promote the use of virgin materials run counter to the product stewardship movement’s efforts to level the playing field for all products and promote sound management of materials to produce net environmental, social, and economic benefits. These virgin material subsidies are estimated at more than $1 trillion globally. Mining subsidies in one country can influence the choice of materials for incorporation into products on the worldwide market. On this webinar, you will learn about government subsidies and policies that promote the use of virgin minerals, timber, oil, and other resources, and explain the connection to product price. This webinarwill also focus on common federal and state-level subsidies and consider steps that can be taken to seek a better alignment of economic and environmental policies.

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Moderator: Scott Cassel, (PSI)
Presenters: Doug Koplow, (EarthTrack, Inc.)
Jennifer Krill, (Earthwork)

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Green Washing: Aligning Product Claims with Consumer Expectations
Tuesday, July 12,
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST / 10:00 - 11:30 AM PST

Green•wash (gr?n'w?sh') – verb: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service

Overview: With the growing popularity of "green” products, brand owners are increasingly using words such as "green,” "sustainable,” "environmentally friendly,” "compostable,” and "renewable” to sell their goods. However, it is easy for a consumer to be confused or misled, due to the lack of clear definitions for these terms and oversight of their use. On this webinar, you will learn about recent Federal Trade Commission guidelines related to green marketing, including a recent case against K-mart for making false claims about the biodegradability of a product. Examples of green marketing that are particularly confusing to consumers will be discussed, based on the 2007 TerraChoice report, "Seven Sins of Greenwashing.” This webinar will clarify what is considered "accurate advertising,” as compared to what the public perceives as "greenwashing,” and will emphasize the importance of reputable certification programs to ensure that the public can make informed purchasing decisions. Having measureable and verifiable metrics ensures that consumers are not misled and enhances a company’s brand image.

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Moderator: Mike Younis, (PSI)
Presenters: Laura Koss, (Federal Trade Commission)
Scot Case, (UL Environment and TerraChoice)
Barbra Batshalom, (Sustainable Performance Institute/Nexus)

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Questions? Contact Erin, at 617-236-4855 or

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