A California Democrat has proposed a bill that would require manufacturers of hazardous products to create materials that are less toxic and easier to recycle.
“Every time we use recycled materials to create a product, we save energy and reduce pollution from landfill,” says First District Assembly member Wesley Chesbro, who introduced the California Product Stewardship Act.
The Act would require manufacturers of hazardous products to create products that are less toxic, more durable and easier to recycle when they enter the waste stream.
Chesbro, who also chairs the Assembly’s Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, says the legislation would also create jobs in green industries.
The Bill, introduced on February 26, 2010, proposes an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Framework, which would establish one law to address a wide range of toxic products, including medical waste such as hypodermic needles, household pesticides, small propane tanks and other hazardous waste found around the home. These wastes end up in landfills and pose a significant threat to the environment.
“Consumers deserve convenient, affordable options for disposing of products and leftover pesticides,” says Kevin Hendrick, director of the Del Norte County Solid Waste Management. “Green design and a green economy must start with the businesses that produce, and profit from, these products.”
Establishing an EPR Framework provides producers the flexibility to customize individual product stewardship plans and implement the most effective and cost-efficient approach for any particular product or product category. It also encourages green design and reductions in disposal, toxic releases and emissions of climate change gases in order to improve human health and the environment.
“The EPR Framework is a strategy to share responsibility among those who make, sell, use and dispose of products, while placing the primary responsibility on producers to reduce a product’s lifecycle impacts,” says Chesbro.
“This bill will move California toward a more sustainable environment and economy. We can reduce greenhouse gases and government spending while providing the framework to develop new green industries.”