NWPSC Associates Pledge of Support

NWPSC Associate Members agree to support the NWPSC mission, the Principles for Product Stewardship Policy and product stewardship programs and legislation as authorized by their agency or organization. Associates have access to a NWPSC list serve discussion group and can participate in any of the subcommittee projects and programs. Download a printable version of the Associates Pledge (Word).

Associates:

  • Agree to support product stewardship programs, policies as their agencies or organizations allow.
  • Advocate for product stewardship legislative activities by signing letters, testifying in support of bills, or participating in other activities as deemed appropriate by their agency or organization.
  • Will receive news and information about product stewardship policies and programs through the monthly Associates Update.
  • Have access to individuals that have product stewardship expertise.
  • Have access to a forum for sharing information about local, regional and national product stewardship activities.

Background

The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is a coalition of government organizations in Washington and Oregon that operates as an unincorporated association of members and is comprised of a Steering Committee, Associates and Subcommittees. 

Mission:

The NWPSC's mission is to enhance Washington’s and Oregon’s reuse, recycling and waste management systems by working with the waste and recycling industry, consumers, manufacturers and others to connect producers with the costs associated with the end-of-life management of their products to provide incentives for reducing waste, increasing recyclability, and reducing the toxicity of their products.

Product Stewardship Definition:

Product Stewardship is an environmental management strategy that means whoever designs, produces, sells, or uses a product takes responsibility for minimizing the product's environmental impact throughout all stages of the product's life cycle, including end of life management. The greatest responsibility lies with whoever has the most ability to affect the full life cycle environmental impacts of the product. This is most often the producer of the product, though all within the product chain of commerce have roles.

Product Stewardship (PS) and Producer Responsibility (PR) are terms used interchangeably to describe a long-term solution to manage waste products by shifting the responsibility for collection, transportation, and management of products away from local governments to the manufacturers (taken from the Sonoma County Extended Producer Responsibility Implementation Plan, R3 Consulting Group, Inc., Jan. 26, 2007).

Objectives:

  • Develop and recommend product stewardship policies to organizations, institutions and governments
  • Provide effective leadership on product stewardship initiatives in the region
  • Assist in coordinating product stewardship efforts in the Northwest and with national product stewardship initiatives whenever possible
  • Educate elected officials and other decision makers on the benefits to local government of product stewardship

Organizational Structure

Steering Committee:

Members of the Steering Committee are representatives of government agencies and associations that provide funding and/or staff time to NWPSC product stewardship activities and projects. Members of the Steering Committee are: City of Spokane, WA, City of Tacoma, WA, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, WA, Kitsap County Solid Waste Division, WA, Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, WA, Metro Solid Waste and Recycling Department, OR, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Seattle Public Utilities, WA, Snohomish County Solid Waste Division, WA, Thurston County Solid Waste, WA, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department, WA, and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Subcommittees:

The Council conducts much of it work via subcommittees. Current subcommittees are: Carpet, Electronics, Mercury, Paint, Beverage Containers/Packaging, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals Policy, the Policy Subcommittee and Outreach Subcommittee. 

Associate Members:

Associate members are local, state, regional and federal government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations that support the NWPSC mission and product stewardship principles. Associate Members sign the  Pledge of Support sign behalf of their agency or organization and agree to support product stewardship programs and legislation as authorized by their organization or agency. Associates have access to a NWPSC list serve discussion group and can participate in any of the subcommittee projects and programs.   

Community Members:

Community members are interested individuals and members of governments, businesses and non-profits who support product stewardship and are interested in staying informed about the NWPSC and product stewardship activities in the Northwest. Community Members receive updates once or twice a month about new programs, legislation and opportunities for involvement through the NWPSC monthly email updates.

Principles for Product Stewardship Policy

The following principles are intended to guide development of product stewardship policies and legislation that governs multiple products.  It is primarily aimed at state legislation but is also intended as a guide for local and federal policy.

1.     Producer Responsibility

1.1      All producers selling a covered product into the State are responsible for designing, managing, and financing a stewardship program that addresses the lifecycle impacts of their products including end-of-life management.

1.2      Producers have flexibility to meet these responsibilities by offering their own plan or participating in a plan with others.

1.3      In addressing end-of-life management, all stewardship programs must finance the collection, transportation, and responsible reuse, recycling or disposition of covered products.  Stewardship programs must:

    • Cover the costs of new, historic and orphan covered products.
    • Provide convenient collection for consumers throughout the State.

1.4      Costs for product waste management are shifted from taxpayers and ratepayers to producers and users.

1.5      Programs are operated by producers with minimum government involvement. 

2.     Shared Responsibilities

2.1     Retailers only sell covered products from producers who are in compliance with stewardship requirements.

2.2     State and local governments work with producers and retailers on educating the public about the stewardship programs.

2.3     Consumers are responsible for using return systems set up by producers or their agents. 

3.     Governance

3.1     Government sets goals and performance standards following consultation with stakeholders.  All programs within a product category are accountable to the same goals and performance standards.

3.2     Government allows producers the flexibility to determine the most cost-effective means of achieving the goals and performance standards.

3.3     Government is responsible for ensuring a level playing field by enforcing requirements that all producers in a product category participate in a stewardship program as a condition for selling their product in the jurisdiction.

3.4     Product categories required to have stewardship programs are selected using the process and priorities set out in framework legislation.

3.5     Government is responsible for ensuring transparency and accountability of stewardship programs. Producers are accountable to both government and consumers for disclosing environmental outcomes. 

4.     Financing

4.1     Producers finance their stewardship programs as a general cost of doing business, through cost internalization or by recovering costs through arrangements with their distributors and retailers.  End of life fees are not allowed.  

5.     Environmental Protection

5.1     Framework legislation should address environmental product design, including source reduction, recyclability and reducing toxicity of covered products.

5.2     Framework legislation requires that stewardship programs ensure that all products covered by the stewardship program are managed in an environmentally sound manner. 

5.3     Stewardship programs must be consistent with other State sustainability legislation, including those that address greenhouse gas reduction and the waste management hierarchy.

5.4     Stewardship programs include reporting on the final disposition, (i.e., reuse, recycling, disposal) of products handled by the stewardship program, including any products or materials exported for processing.