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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

California Legislation Would Create Product Stewardship

California creates 40 million tons of waste a year. The California Product Stewardship Act or AB 283, introduced by CA Assembly member Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), addresses the state's waste problem. The Act would aim to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions. It would create the Extended Producer Responsibility Framework Program (EPRFP) which would provide incentives to producers to create products and packages that are more environmentally friendly.

According to the proposed bill, the EPRFP would encourage producers to "research alternatives during the product design and packaging phases to foster cradle-to-cradle producer responsibility and reduce the end-of-life environmental impacts."

"AB 283 moves California toward a more sustainable environment and economy," said Chesbro. "Product stewardship will reduce government spending and greenhouse gases, while creating jobs that are desperately needed in our state. This bill will help move California out of its budget crisis and into a ‘cradle to cradle' state that takes
care of its own."

"CPSC and NWPSC have developed Framework Principles that address many products at once, rather than the product-by-product legislation that is slow and costly," said Kevin Hendrick, director of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority. "Framework legislation will streamline the process to include other products over time."

"EPR policies are working in Canada, Europe, Japan, and other countries," said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of CPSC. "The primary responsibility should rest with producers because only they make design and packaging decisions. It is far less expensive to design a product and packaging to reduce waste than it is to create expensive end-of-life disposal and recycling systems."

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