Product Stewardship: Global, Local and Practical Perspectives
2006 Northwest Pollution Prevention Roundtable
May 25th, 2006
Presented by David Stitzhal, NWPSC
Setting the Stage
Food Service and Packaging
Themes, Lessons & Recommendations
Open Discussion Throughout
What is Product Stewardship?
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 products' life cycle. The greatest responsibility lies with whoever has the most ability to affect the lifecycle environmental impacts of the product. The mission of the Council is to integrate product stewardship principles into the policy and economic structures of the Pacific Northwest.
Manufactured Globally No economic incentive for manufacturers to minimize environmental Impacts. Product Stewardship – The Old Edition Manufactured Globally
Disposed Locally Disposed Locally GO DIRECTLY TO LANDFILL. DO NOT PASS GO. Product Stewardship – The Old Edition
Disposed Locally Disposed Locally Should local governments and rate payers cover the costs of handling electronic wastes? Product Stewardship – The Old Edition
Linear Lifecycle The Linear Lifecycle of Consumer Goods Product Stewardship – The Old Edition
The New Edition
Create Economic Incentives Create economic incentives for manufacturers to redesign products to make them “greener.”
Closed Loop Lifecycle The Closed Loop Lifecycle of Consumer Goods
Japanese Model JAPANESE MODEL Mandated Responsibility
Manufacturers set front-end fees for end-of-life management
Retailers collect fees
Fees cover orphan & historic waste
Consumers return products to retailers or municipalities
Manufacturers compete to lower fees
Manufacturers and recyclers are financially linked
Local governments manage product end-of-life.
Rate payers and local government cover product end-of-life costs.
Manufacturers responsible for product take-back.
Costs of product end-of-life are included in price.
No incentives to alter current design.
Continuing toxic legacy.
Incentives to redesign products to make them “greener.”
General Tax Base/Garbage Fees
Advanced Fee (visible)
Advanced Fee (internalized)
Where do funds originate?
Rate payer vs. consumer
Retailer vs. manufacturer
What do funds cover?
Collection, transportation, recycling
Base level of service/collection
Orphan & historic waste
Where does the money go?
Are manufacturers individually or collectively responsible via TPO?
A Tale of Two Programs
The recently passed Washington state electronics recycling legislation sets each company’s share based on the total weight across product categories method: “The department shall determine the return share for each manufacturer in the standard plan or an independent plan by dividing the weight of covered electronic products identified for each manufacturer by the total weight of covered electronic products identified for all manufacturers.”
By contrast, the Maine electronics recycling law sets each company’s pro rata orphan share by product category and by units (not weight) returned in the various brand count studies.
Use white rather than colored paper.
Buy recycled content .
Double-sided copying. ( Require of vendors, including training .)
Non-chlorine bleach .
Minimize single use paper products.
Reusable shipping containers (local, self-owned trucks with regular shipments)
On-line bill paying and direct deposit.
Minimize pay stub sizes
Where does Product Stewardship Fit In?
What externalized costs are paper manufacturers realizing the benefits of?
Upstream impacts of dyes and bleaches.
Disposal of non-recyclable ream wrapper.
Costs of carton recycling.
Web-Based Paper Calculator http://www.ofee.gov/recycled/calculat.htm
The "Paper Calculator" calculates the U.S. average energy and wood consumption and environmental releases summed across the full "life cycle" of each of five major grades of paper and paperboard.
1 Select the paper type.
2 Enter the quantity of paper purchased in tons.
3 Select the percentage of post-consumer recycled content in your current paper.
4 Select the percentage of post-consumer recycled content in your target paper.
5 Click on the "Calculate All" button .
FOOD SERVICES AND PACKAGING
The Portland Public Schools serve 60,000 lunches per day at 94 schools
Removed their wash systems on the promise of a market for polystyrene trays and dishware. That market has vanished, and a reassessment of durables resulted in a predicament:
As compared with disposal costs, it might repay the school system within 5 years to reinstall washers and buy durable dishware.
BUT: schools won't be making that move back to permanent ware, in part because of unpredictable costs of remodeling and dishware replacement, plus water-heating (energy) costs, employee health-and-safety concerns, the risk of contamination from improperly washed dishes, and the increasing reluctance to free student workers from class.
PLUS, reinstalling a washables system involves a large, unbudgeted, unavailable, out-of-pocket, up-front chunk of dollars (vs. ongoing, familiar purchase-and-dispose budget items). Careers and personal relationships also get tangled up in this type of decision.
The lesson might be : Keep a wash system if you have one. Make efforts to reduce loss of permanent ware. Any cost analysis you do will have unique, local assumptions.
Earthshell sandwich wrap is cast from a composite containing a biodegradable polyester and recycled ingredients. (Photo: DuPont) Spray-coated co-polyester provides a moisture barrier on natural-composite hot and cold cups now being introduced at fast-food outlets. (Photo: Eastman Chemical)
Considerations re.PLA Plastic
Composting PLA might meet the "zero waste to landfill" criteria if you don't look at the solid wastes created in the production of the PLA, but how well does it fare on "zero waste of resources" issue? When you compost PLA, you get nothing useful out of it – only carbon dioxide and water.
It may be worth considering biobased products in markets for which litter is a problem -- for example, food service near national parks. Rapid composting into water and CO2 would be a benefit in this situation.
A key value of PLA may be that it makes the composting of other materials (food waste) easier.
POLYLACTIC ACID PLASTIC Terry S. Brennan, Integrated Waste Management Specialist, California Integrated Waste Management Board (quoted from GreenYes List-Serve, Nov, 2004)
There are several companies making or working on biodegradable coatings for paper products, most from Polylactic Acid (PLA), some not.
There is still significant debate in the industry regarding the relative degradability of some of these products. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications have been developed for compostability of both degradable plastics products such as cups, bowls, plates, utensils, straws, bags, etc. and degradable plastic coatings (ASTM 6400 and 6868, respectively).
There are also International Organization for Standardization (ISO) German, Japanese, Taiwanese, and other specifications. Products that are tested to meet the ASTM specifications for compostability can be certified by the Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI - http://www. bpiworld .org/ ) and use their logo.
It is important to do your homework and work with your composter prior to deciding on products to purchase.
Many of these products can be purchased from companies listed on this page:http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/FoodWaste/Compost/Biodegrade.htm
THEMES, LESSONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
WHAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN DO
Locally managing electronics using product stewardship principles
Helping organize events or activities
Recycler’s pledges and environmental reviews of vendors
Green purchasing and procurement specifications
Level the playing field (e.g. urban vs. rural)
Considerations for Local Communities Related to Collection of Used Electronic Products
An NWPSC document outlining particular things municipalities should consider when establishing an electronics recycling program and ways in which they can encourage product stewardship for electronics. (without accidentally footing the bill)
• WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING ON SITE; • WHAT HAPPENS TO IT; • WHAT CAUSES YOU HEADACHES; • WHAT ARE YOU HANDLING A LOT; • WHAT ARE YOU PAYING A LOT OF MONEY FOR.
Consider an Alaskan Product Stewardship Council (CA is on the way.)
Case Study of Retail Apparel Product Stewardship Program (EPA R10; Seattle; King County)
What product stewardship implications are there given Alaska’s remote and rural nature?
NOAA Research Vessel is First to Operate Petroleum Free
Congratulations to the crew of the 41-foot NOAA R/V HURON EXPLORER, and to everyone responsible for creating the first U.S. research ship to operate free of petroleum products. Powered by soy biodiesel combined with bio-hydraulic and bio-motor oils, the environmentally-friendly vessel is well suited to working in the eco-systems it is helping to research.
Not exactly product stewardship, but an inspiring way to bring together various stakeholders to effect change.
The Cuyahoga River fire brought effluent control into the bottom line (i.e. along with the costs of: turning on the factory lights, the CEO’s retirement package, raw materials, etc.)
The Triangle Shirt Factory brought worker health and safety into the bottom line.
Nader’s Unsafe at any Speed brought consumer rights and safety into the bottom line.
These costs all used to be external to product price. Now they are an accepted cost of doing business. Why should a product’s end-of-life consequences and management costs be any different?
The Socio-Cultural Trendline Toward Product Stewardship