California lawmakers have made the state the second to enact “producer responsibility” legislation for the management of unused paint, the Product Stewardship Institute announced.
The state legislature recently approved AB 1342, a measure establishing a paint-management program—PaintCare—financed and operated by the private sector by means of a product-stewardship nonprofit organization run by paint manufacturers, the institute said.
Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council, said the program will include a public-education program and 20 retail collection locations.
“We hope we have found a collaborative solution that not only reduces costs, but makes recycling leftover paint more convenient for consumers,” Sanborn said.
The California law is based on a model state bill approved in Oregon in July 2009. The model bill is the result of a national agreement facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute, which convened paint manufacturers, retailers, contractors, recyclers, and government officials “:to jointly develop an environmentally sound and economically efficient solution to the leftover paint problem.”
Product stewardship, otherwise known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach that shifts the responsibility for waste-management costs from taxpayers and ratepayers to include manufacturers, retailers, and ultimately the users of these products—the consumer, the Product Stewardship Institute said.
California Assembly member Jared Huffman, the author of AB 1343, said the measure will ease the local-government financial burden of managing leftover, unused paint. He said those governments were paying more than $27 million a year on such programs.
“This cost represents the single largest cost to local governments in the household hazardous waste system," Huffman said. “This signified a great need for a convenient recycling program that is cost-effective and reduces the financial burden on local governments and protects the environment.”
The Product Stewardship Institute said the measure received the backing of industry, including paint and coatings manufacturers.
“The paint manufacturers are ready to take over the management of leftover paint, and believe PaintCare can do this more cost effectively than government,” said Alison Keane of the American Coatings Association (ACA), which represents paint and coatings manufacturers. “The legislation is modeled after successful programs already in place in Canada,” she said.
Scott Cassel, executive director of the Product Stewardship Institute, credited “the steadfast leadership of the paint industry and the perseverance of other stakeholders” for the successful campaign to establish the PaintCare program. The institute says it is a national nonprofit environmental organization that establishes cooperative agreements to reduce the health and environmental impacts from consumer products. More information: www.productstewardship.us.
Supporters of the bill included a range of companies and agencies, including Amazon Recycled Paints, Kelly-Moore Paints, Dunn-Edwards Corp., the Sherwin Williams Company, other manufacturers, and waste-disposal and recycling businesses. More information: http://www.calpsc.org/policies/state/2010_legislation.html.
More information also is available at www.CalPSC.org and http://www.paintcare.org/.