Posts Tagged ‘pharmaceuticals’

GlobalPSC Members Support Product Stewardship in California

Posted by Brett Giddings at 8:01 pm, November 24th, 2015Comments1

 

San Francisco

On November 4th GlobalPSC members CalRecycle, Call2Recycle and PaintCare joined the California Product Stewardship Council and a range of government and industry representatives to provide perspectives on the role of legislation in driving product stewardship for household hazardous waste (HHW).

In a hearing held by the California Assembly Select Committee on Waste Reduction & Recycling in 21st Century California, participants expressed support for well-considered extended producer responsibility (EPR) to be trialled and ultimately introduced in the state for HHW; including batteries, used pharmaceuticals and sharps. The ubiquity of many HHW products and the potential threats they pose to the environment and human health were highlighted at the hearing, with estimates of approximately 600 million pounds being landfilled in the state each year.

With a ‘patchwork’ of ordinances being introduced in counties throughout the state, many agreed that state-wide EPR programs, underpinned by appropriate legislative frameworks, and managed by relevant industry bodies, would provide a more effective and efficient solution.

The hearing can viewed in full via this video posted by the California Product Stewardship Council.

 

GlobalPSC Member – Innes & Company LLC

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:36 pm, January 28th, 2015Comments2

Innes & Company LLC is a U.S.-based consultancy assisting clients around the globe in reaching their goals in the areas of product stewardship and sustainability.

Innes & Company President Melissa Walsh Innes is a former legislator with extensive experience in recycling and product stewardship legislation, including packaging, paint, medical sharps, pharmaceuticals, compact fluorescent lamps, electronics, and containers.

Melissa was the sponsor of Maine’s first-in-the-nation Product Stewardship Framework Law of 2010, as well as the sponsor of a successful electronic recycling program expansion in 2011 (both enacted with unanimous bipartisan support).

Melissa is the former deputy director for Recycling Reinvented, a U.S. national nonprofit working to advance recycling policies to increase national recycling rates for packaging and printed paper. Her experience at Recycling Reinvented incorporated best practices from recycling experts around the world, knowledge that Melissa uses to benefit the clients of Innes & Company.

In her time at Recycling Reinvented, Melissa further honed her skills in client engagement, stakeholder relations, media outreach, organization development, and policy crafting.

Melissa’s experience and approach to policy negotiation and stakeholder relations includes working side by side with a variety of stakeholders, from environmental organizations to chambers of commerce. Innes & Company helps clients achieve their policy goals using the same successful approach.

Contact details include:
400 East Elm Street
Yarmouth, Maine 04096  USA
207.847.3177 (office)
melissa@innesandcompany.com
Twitter: @InnesReport

Melissa also serves as a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group.

Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:43 pm, May 13th, 2014Comments0

Australia’s Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project provides a national scheme for unwanted and out-of-date medicines to be collected by community pharmacies and disposed of by high temperature incineration, which is the EPA-approved method of disposal.

The RUM Project initiative represents a “world first” in the management and removal of unwanted and out-of-date medicines. Community pharmacies across Australia receive these unwanted medicines from consumers at no cost to the consumer.

This Commonwealth-funded program addresses a fundamental impediment to the quality use of medicines in Australia, namely safe disposal. It is recognised that hoarding of old and unwanted medicines can lead to the medicines becoming misused, abused or harming children if left lying around. Research also now demonstrates possible adverse environmental effects from inappropriately discarded pharmaceuticals in waterways (United States EPA).

The most common means of disposal – down the sink or toilet, or in the bin – may lead to poor environmental consequences.

The increasing number of medication options being provided to treat medical conditions results in frequent changes to medication. The aged consumer is confronted with a dazzling array of changing medications with subsequent confusion and often poor medication management. This confusion can be reduced with appropriate disposal of medicines no longer required.

The Federal Budget for July 2013 allocated over $9 million for a further two years to the project. A review is now due in June 2015.

GlobalPSC Member Profile – Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:22 pm, May 13th, 2014Comments0

Australia’s Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project provides a national scheme for unwanted and out-of-date medicines to be collected by community pharmacies and disposed of by high temperature incineration, which is the EPA-approved method of disposal.

The RUM Project initiative represents a “world first” in the management and removal of unwanted and out-of-date medicines. Community pharmacies across Australia receive these unwanted medicines from consumers at no cost to the consumer.

This Commonwealth-funded program addresses a fundamental impediment to the quality use of medicines in Australia, namely safe disposal. It is recognised that hoarding of old and unwanted medicines can lead to the medicines becoming misused, abused or harming children if left lying around. Research also now demonstrates possible adverse environmental effects from inappropriately discarded pharmaceuticals in waterways (United States EPA).

The most common means of disposal – down the sink or toilet, or in the bin – may lead to poor environmental consequences.

The increasing number of medication options being provided to treat medical conditions results in frequent changes to medication. The aged consumer is confronted with a dazzling array of changing medications with subsequent confusion and often poor medication management. This confusion can be reduced with appropriate disposal of medicines no longer required.

 

Product Stewardship: Times Have Changed in the U.S.A.

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:21 pm, July 11th, 2013Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer of the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). The GlobalPSC asked to re-post this blog, which Scott wrote recently for PSI.

For those of us in the environmental movement, it might seem as if we are on a long hike, which keeps going and going and going, from peak to peak, and valley to valley. The landscape looks familiar, the challenges commonplace. There are times to rest, and times to move, times to seek shelter, and times to book it across wide open fields. And then there are times when you sit back and notice that you have come a long way, and that the process was enjoyable, and that the long days of trudging in mud got you to a place of beauty, and that the view is nothing like you could have imagined.

On July 1, I attended an event at a Sherwin Williams paint store in Branford, Connecticut, to mark the start of Connecticut’s paint stewardship program. Before Governor Dannel Malloy placed the first gallon of paint into the collection container, he spoke of the importance of keeping paint out of our storm drains and the Long Island Sound, and praised the industry for their product stewardship efforts. Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, talked about the “new world of product stewardship” and how the paint program kick off represents the “next step in Connecticut’s move to building the waste management system of the 21st Century.”

ImageConnecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy places a can of paint in a recycling bin in a symbolic kick-off to the PaintCare Program. (L to R: American Coatings Association President Andy Doyle; Connecticut State Sen. Ed Meyer; Connecticut State Rep. Pat Widlitz; and Gov. Dannel Malloy.)

 

 

One after the other, speakers walked to the makeshift podium at the corner of the paint store, amidst the colored strips of lavender and mauve, and praised the new paint program and its ability to save resources, save money, and create jobs.

There was a good feeling, and rolling out right in front of me, like a video documentary, was a paradigm shift of immense proportions, as Important People, from the Governor and his Administration, to key legislators, retailers, and paint manufacturers, praised the collaborative nature of this innovative program.

Image(L to R: Sherwin-Williams District Manager Tom Kelly; Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy; Connecticut State Rep. Pat Widlitz; Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Etsy; Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Analyst Tom Metzner; PSI CEO Scott Cassel)

 

Tom Kelly, Sherwin Williams District Manager, mentioned the calls he already received on the first day of the program from residents seeking a place to bring leftover paint. “They come in just to drop off paint, but then see a clean store, and that we have what they need, and they leave a customer,” he said. Andy Doyle, President of the American Coatings Association, pledged the “support and backing of America’s paint industry” to recycle all the state’s leftover paint. The two chief bill sponsors – Sen. Ed Meyer and Rep. Patricia Widlitz – applauded the Governor and his team, as well as the industry, for their collaborative approach to finding a solution to a significant environmental problem, calling it “something really special.” They talked about the “terrific concept of producer responsibility” in which “paint manufacturers come up with their own plan to recycle.” State Rep. Lonnie Reed said that “…building in recycling and end-of-life elements into all of our products is important, and a sign of things to come.”

Image(L to R: American Coatings Association President Andy Doyle; PSI CEO Scott Cassel)

As I stood there listening, it struck me that product stewardship has become commonplace in Connecticut. PSI laid the groundwork for paint product stewardship in Connecticut and across the nation by convening paint manufacturers, retailers, state and local governments, and others in national meetings to hash out the agreements that led to this very moment. But the paint program in Connecticut would not have happened if each of the local stakeholders at that press event did not seize on the opportunity they were presented. The paint industry has now transformed itself from an industry that once saw consumers as the reason for leftover paint to one that has taken a leadership role to make sure leftover paint is recycled.

As our nation debates immigration reform, marriage equality, and voting rights, we can all sense shifts in public opinion that represent sea changes of immense proportion. This year marks a watershed moment in the product stewardship movement. To date, eight producer responsibility laws have passed this past year on four products in eight states: pharmaceuticals (Alameda County, CA; King County, WA); paint (Maine, Minnesota, and Vermont); mattresses (Connecticut and Rhode Island); and thermostats (New York). No, the entire country has not embraced producer responsibility; that will take decades. But we now have Governors and Commissioners speaking about an industry’s responsibility to manage its own waste, and an industry speaking glowingly about its partnership with regulatory agencies that allow it to assume its rightful responsibility.

This is the paradigm shift that many of us predicted in 2000 when the Product Stewardship Institute was created on that cold December day in Boston when over 100 government officials assembled to talk about a little known concept called product stewardship.

The times have changed. Sometimes it is nice to sit back and enjoy the show, and revel in the enjoyment that your hard work has provided to others. For many of us, now is that time.

How Could Local Governments Miss out on Product Stewardship?

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:06 am, September 3rd, 2012Comments1

By Russ Martin, Global Product Stewardship Council President

Russ blogs regularly on product stewardship for the Business Environment Network (BEN). This blog originally appeared on BEN and has been reposted with permission of BEN publishers. 

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship have long had as a fundamental purpose the shifting of physical and financial responsibility for products away from local waste management and recycling programs back to producers and consumers.

Some of our colleagues in the U.S., the Product Stewardship Institute, have estimated the potential benefits to local programs of producer responsibility at over U.S. $2 billion. These benefits include actual costs, which would be the direct financial savings to a local government of implementing an EPR program and service benefits, which is the value of the added benefits a municipality would receive if EPR were to take hold. For example, many local governments in the U.S. dry and dispose of latex paint because it is a lower priority than other household hazardous waste products. If they had the money, they would collect it for recycling.

So if benefits are supposed to accrue mainly to local programs, how might local governments miss out on EPR and product stewardship? Simply by not understanding product stewardship, how it’s intended to work or how to make the most of it. Or, they could fail to engage effectively with other stakeholders.

First, some basics. Most consumers want products to be responsibly managed when they reach end-of-life. More product stewardship schemes across a broader range of items are likely.

Businesses will want to leverage existing resources, including local government collections and infrastructure, rather than start new programs completely from scratch. Local governments that engage industry can reduce their infrastructure and consumer education costs. Transparency and accountability of services provided will be an important issue.

Recent discussions with a variety of local government officials have shown that many still don’t seem to understand some of these basics. The idea is not to get grants from the government for collecting additional products. Nor to invite product stewardship organisations to tender for collection / recycling contracts of particular products.  Rather it’s about councils forming partnerships with product stewardship organisations to provide certain services. Strong standards will be necessary, and these will affect expectations and costs for all stakeholders. Collections should be free to consumers, and in some cases this may be regulated as in the new national TV and computer recycling scheme (NB: in Australia).

In addition, the targets for the TV and computer scheme will not necessarily match up to likely volumes of materials available for collection. The first annual recycling target is 30 per cent in 2012–13, increasing progressively each year to reach 80 per cent in 2021–22.

However, we can expect a great deal of collections initially, especially with the digital switchover and a backlog of end-of-life TVs and computers spread across Australia. Then the pendulum is likely to swing back the other way before eventually stabilising in say 5-6 years. As the targets start to really kick in, industry will then be scouring for TVs and computers in order to meet their targets. The characteristics of the products in and materials out of the scheme will vary significantly during this time, which will further complicate planning, implementation and basic commercial viability.

Liable parties under the scheme are paying co-regulatory arrangements to meet their target obligations in a cost-effective way. Once the arrangements meet their liable parties’ targets, recycling above and beyond that point simply represents a cost for which funding from liable parties cannot readily be sought. Yet the scheme’s first collections in the ACT exceeded the arrangement’s annual target for that region in one month.

Public interest and engagement cannot readily be turned on and off like a tap. Industry and local governments will need to collaborate with State and Commonwealth governments on how best to manage consumer expectations while delivering meaningful outcomes.

Consistency and reliability of service to customers is important. Yet, existing co-regulatory arrangements already diverge on whether they will cover the costs for collecting and processing TVs and computers beyond their target volumes. Councils will not be able to charge consumers for TV and computer recycling, then return those products through an approved arrangement.

This means that the cost for any excess collections beyond target volumes would need to be covered by councils, state or federal governments to maintain free collections to the consumer and avoid discouraging an engaged public. This is a transitional, yet very important, issue that will need to be managed carefully as we move towards fuller industry funding of programs.

So, if you’re a local government, how do you go about making the most of product stewardship?

First, know where you stand. What items have the greatest impacts (in terms of toxicity/hazard, volumes and public concern)? What are your costs for managing end-of-life products responsibly (including education, collections, recycling, disposal of residuals, externality costs, insurance and illegal dumping clean-up costs)?

Second, know where others stand and understand their needs. What programs are already in existence? What programs are planned or could potentially be implemented?

Third, actively engage with industries, state governments and other stakeholders. Seek agreement on program details and funding for issues such as collection types, frequency and accessibility for consumers; how best to promote returns and manage community expectations; how to address material quality/contamination; education; risks, roles and responsibilities; cost allocation (and neutrality?); auditing/verification and public reporting.

The local governments that understand these factors are in a much stronger position to truly benefit from product stewardship, especially if product stewardship expands to other items such as paints, pharmaceuticals and other e-waste beyond what we’re already seeing.

GlobalPSC Member Profile – Product Stewardship Institute

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:47 pm, August 13th, 2012Comments18

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle—with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. With experience in nearly 20 product categories, PSI brings together stakeholders with varying interests to develop product stewardship solutions in a collaborative manner, facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues, encouraging product design changes, and advocating for producer responsibility.

PSI has 47 state environmental agency members and hundreds of local government members, along with over 100 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners. Together, they achieve their product stewardship goals by designing, implementing, evaluating, strengthening, and promoting both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America.

PSI strives to achieve the following financial, social, and environmental goals with every initiative it undertakes:

  • Minimize waste management costs, particularly for taxpayers and government agencies;
  • Create recycling and waste management jobs in safe, fair trade conditions; and
  • Reduce waste, increase product reuse, and boost recycling rates while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and the use of toxic chemicals.

 

GlobalPSC Member Profile – BC Ministry of Environment

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:04 am, June 19th, 2012Comments8

 

British Columbia is a leader in developing producer responsibility programs. The BC Recycling Regulation requires producers to collect and recycle the products that they make and sell. This provides producers with a financial incentive to make and sell products that are more durable, reusable and recyclable; contain less toxic material and never become waste.

The BC Ministry of Environment oversees 18 industry-led product stewardship and EPR programs, currently more than any other North American jurisdiction. The programs and the years they were first implemented are:

  • Paint (1994)
  • Pesticides (1996)
  • Gasoline (1996)
  • Solvents and flammable liquids (1996)
  • Pharmaceuticals (1996)
  • Beverage containers (1997)
  • Lubricating oil (2003)
  • Tires (2007)
  • TVs and computers (2007)
  • Batteries (2009)
  • Cell phones / mobile phones (2009)
  • Audio Visual (2010)
  • Thermostats (2010)
  • Fluorescent lamps (2010)
  • Car batteries  (2011)
  • Smoke detectors (2011)
  • Antifreeze (2011)
  • Small appliances (2011)
  • Expansion to Electronic and Electronic Product Category, including: large appliances; tools; automatic dispenser; medical equipment; lamps and fixtures; ITT; toys; monitoring and control equipment; audio visual and media (2012)
  • Packaging and printed paper (2014)

In September 2011, the Global Product Stewardship Council and Product Stewardship Institute held a special policy breakfast session with the Ministry about BC’s new requirement that all producers of packaging and printed paper collect and recycle the products they make and sell. Event details and presentations are available here.

 

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Global Product Stewardship Council

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Tel: +61 2 9449 9909
Fax: +61 2 9449 9901
Email: info@globalpsc.net