California finalizing medicine and sharps EPR program

SB 212, passed in 2018, "established a uniform take-back program to provide safe and convenient disposal statewide of medication and sharps. The program requires the manufacturers of needles and medications to provide for disposal and the program’s promotion. This “producer pays” policy approach has been very successfully implemented in Canada, Europe and Mexico for pharmaceuticals and in France for needles. Its success is well-documented," wrote Heidi Sanborn of the National Stewardship Action Council and Jordan Wells of the California Product Stewardship Council in the July 2019 issue of Western City.

CalRecycle is currently finalizing the regulations and the program will begin sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. However, "there are currently more [medication collection] bins in California communities than ever before. Walgreens has bins throughout California, as do the counties that already passed local ordinances (which SB 212 protected and did not preempt)."