Washington and California legislators talk EPR in Seattle

California CFEE visit to Recycle BC, via Fiona MaWashington Senators Das and Carlyle, Representatives Doglio and Fitzgibbon, and a contingent of legislators from California met in Seattle on August 1, 2019 to talk about extended producer responsibility (EPR), energy, environment, and the climate work that was achieved this past session. California legislators included Senators Bill Allen, Nancy Skinner and Bob Wieckowski who had just returned from visiting Recycle BC, British Columbia’s packaging and printed paper producer responsibility organization, recycler Merlin Plastics, and an Encorp Return-It beverage container recycling depot. [Photo via California State Treasurer Fiona Ma's twitter.]

Members of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council were among those who spoke about Washington's existing EPR programs: E-Cycle Washington, LightRecycle Washington, and the newer programs in the implementation process Safe Medication Return (aka Drug Take Back Act), PV Module Stewardship and Takeback Program, and Paint Stewardship. The Washington Department of Ecology is studying plastic packaging EPR, while the King County - Seattle Responsible Recycling Task Force is also conducting an EPR modeling study for the state of Washington. The Council showed its “EPR is a solution” video and discussed the nuances of Washington’s EPR programs in contrast to California and British Columbia.

The trip, organized by the California Product Stewardship Council with the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy (CFEE), was a great opportunity for the Washington legislators to hear from the experiences of California legislators about how product stewardship is working in their state. [Correction: the NWPSC neglected to note in an earlier version that our friends the California Product Stewardship Council were instrumental in organizing the trip to British Columbia and the great discussion in Seattle that followed; we regret the error.]