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About the Massacheussetts e-waste law


It sounds like there’s a new contender for “best e-waste law”!
Note the crucial role that local governments played in generating the political support/pressure for this action by the state. I will be most interested in the provision that provides “a financial incentive for producers to set up their own program.” If the law can achieve this it will be a landmark.
At the national workshop on EPR held in Calgary last week, the hot topic was whether collective-managed programs and state-run programs (think California) are really EPR. In the collective (i.e., cartel) approach (inspired by Germany’s DSD) competing brand-owners form a quasi-governmental utility to manage their recycling. The beverage cartel in BC is being sued by the Consumers’ Association and it was observed at the conference in Calgary that the only way the collective can win is by proving that it is essentially a “public” body — noting that the brand-owners may not want that degree of transparency.
It will be interesting to see if Massachusetts has finally created a legislative framework within which HP and Dell can be rewarded for being ahead of the competition in recycling. Interesting times!


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