Local Governments Drive Product Stewardship

by | Aug 2, 2010

Local governments are leading the nation in the call for extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies, reports the Product Policy Institute (PPI). The city of Roseville, California, recently became the 100th local government, agency or association to adopt a local EPR resolution.

PPI says California is leading the push for product stewardship. Local governments started organizing in California in 2006 by starting the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) to promote a policy shift away from disposal bans to EPR to manage hazardous product waste. PPI helped CPSC develop the first local EPR resolution, which has been used as the model for subsequent resolutions across the country including the US Conference of Mayors.

Local product stewardship resolutions have been adopted in five other states frequently by members of state Product Stewardship Councils: New York (7 resolutions), Texas (4), Minnesota (6), Massachusetts (4), and Rhode Island (1).

PPI helped local governments start Product Stewardship Councils in Texas, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts.

The resolutions call for extending producers’ responsibility for product waste beyond the sale to ensure products and packaging are properly reduced, reused and recycled, says PPI. They also call for state legislatures to pass legislation that shifts financial responsibility for recycling product waste to producers and consumers, rather than costs falling solely on local governments via taxpayers and garbage ratepayers.

In June 2010, the US Conference of Mayors became the third major national association of local elected officials to adopt an organizational resolution supporting EPR. The National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties adopted resolutions in 2009.

While EPR policies are common in Europe, Canada, Japan and other countries, they are relatively new to the United States, says PPI. Twenty-two states currently have EPR policies for electronic waste.

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