EPR Stewardship Plans: Waste Out of Our Landfills Puts Money in our Pockets

Recently, the State Legislature advanced two measures to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements for battery producers and carpet manufacturers. EPR product stewardship programs minimize costs to the public, encourage manufacturers to use environmentally sound product design, and enhance public health and the environment through end-of-life management.

Currently, the disposal of used batteries falls on cash-strapped local governments, costing them tens of millions of dollars a year. SB 1100 (Corbett) aims to alleviate this financial burden by holding battery producers accountable for the impacts of their products. This bill requires producers to develop and implement “stewardship plans” for all household batteries. Producers would be required to submit the stewardship plan to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (DRRR) by September of 2011.  Without an approved plan, producers will not be able to sell batteries in the state come January of 2012. SB 1100 passed to the Assembly on a 23-10 vote.

Discarded carpet is one of the most common waste substances in California landfills.  To incentivize recycling efforts, AB 2398 (J. Perez) requires that 25% of discarded carpets be recycled by 2017 (this rate increases to 50% by 2022).  Manufacturers would have to meet these targets to continue selling carpets in the state.  In addition, manufacturers would be required to develop stewardship plans aimed at diverting carpets from landfills to recycling facilities. AB 2398 passed to the Senate on a 49-27 vote.

PCL supports both of these important measures, we’ll be working over the next several months to ensure they get to the Governor’s and are signed.