The Product Stewardship Institute’s role in the development of leftover-paint handling programs and other product-recycling initiatives has won a 2012 Environmental Protection Agency Merit Award for the institute.
|From left: Carl Dierker, regional counsel, EPA Region 1 office; Scott Cassel, CEO and founder, Product Stewardship Institute; and Curt Spalding, regional administrator, EPA Region 1 office.|
The EPA award recognizes the institute for contributions toward preserving and protecting natural resources, the organization said in an announcement. EPA’s Region 1 office in Boston also cited the institute’s work to promote voluntary recycling programs and the development of a Maine law involving handling of mercury thermostats. The law provided a model for similar legislation in a number of other states.
The institute is credited with facilitating a national agreement among paint manufacturers, retailers, government agencies, and other key stakeholders that has been instrumental in the passage of legislation establishing industry-funded recycling programs for leftover architectural paint.
The agreement most recently led to the passage of Connecticut's 2011 paint stewardship law, which EPA said “is expected to save Connecticut up to $7 million per year and recover up to 880,000 gallons of leftover paint, much of which will be turned into new paint by a recycled-paint manufacturer that plans to move to Connecticut because of the new law.”
The law paves the way for implementation of the leftover-paint management program “on or before” July 1, 2013. Under the program, paint users will be able to recycle or dispose of unwanted paint by taking it to a participating retailer or household hazardous waste site.
Similar recycling/stewardship programs for paint have been instituted with the passage of legislation in Oregon and California; see the D+D stories New Connecticut Law Paves Way for Program to Handle Leftover Paint, California Enacts Leftover-Paint Management Program and Oregon Paint ‘Take-Back’ Program Begins Operation.
The programs are based on the PaintCare product-stewardship model developed by paint and coatings manufacturers and the American Coatings Association (ACA).
Scott Cassel, CEO and founder of the Product Stewardship Institute, called the EPA award “a recognition of our collaborative approach with companies, environmental groups, and government agencies, and our belief that the best solutions are those that integrate different perspectives.”
The EPA award also makes note of the institute’s efforts to promote voluntary recycling programs for rechargeable batteries, mercury lamps, electronics, cell phones, and pharmaceuticals.