MAY 2009

New California Product Stewardship Act approved

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee approved AB 283, “The California Product Stewardship Act,” introduced by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-First District). The landmark bill would incentivize producers to design products and packaging that are less toxic, more durable, reusable, recyclable and/or biodegradable, which would in turn reduce waste, litter, and greenhouse gases and create thousands of green jobs.

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“AB 283 takes on the big issue of reducing the cost of waste in our society by increasing the responsibility of those who produce the materials that end up in our landfills,” Chesbro said.

AB 283 proposes a comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Framework, which establishes one law to address a wide range of products that end up in California landfills and have a significant impact on the environment and on local government budgets to manage waste. AB 283 provides a systematic approach to managing product waste but still allows flexibility for individual producers to develop stewardship plans based on the uniqueness of each product.

The Natural Resources Committee approved the bill with a 5-3 vote. AB 283 next goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies are speaking out against “The California Product Stewardship Act.” However, Sanborn points to successful EPR programs in Canada and Europe, where business and industry have embraced the financial and environmental benefits of product stewardship.