Extended producer responsibility

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 13, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On December 11, 2008, the California Air Resources Board approved the AB 32 Scoping Plan which identifies dozens of the key strategies to be used by various state regulatory agencies in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  One strategy contained in the plan that could have a tremendous impact on California manufacturers focuses on commercial recycling.  According to the Scoping Plan:

    "Reducing waste and materials at the source of generation, increased use of compost to benefit soils, coupled with increased recycling – especially in the commercial sector – and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plus Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) also have the potential to reduce emissions, both in-state and within the connected global economy."
The Plan goes on to state that the commercial recycling program "will be implemented through mandatory programs" overseen by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.  The mandatory recycling strategy is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 million metric tons.

EPR and EPP have been the subject of legislation a number of times in recent years, but to-date have had traction primarily in connection with electronics and universal waste.  While there are a couple of environmental groups promoting these practices, cities and counties are also supporting efforts to limit their cost exposure and put the burden of waste management onto producers.

In addition to pressure mentioned above via AB 32, at least two legislators, Assemblymembers Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), have announced intentions to introduce legislation this year to institute some form of EPR. If you are concerned about the potential impact of these policies, contact Marisa Hull at mhull@cmta.net to be added to our EPR contact list for future information on this topic.

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