Sunday, February 28, 2010

Product Policy Institute Featured in Miller-McCune Article

Executive Director of PPI, Bill Sheehan was quoted in an article about the growing resistance of US cities and states to pay for waste disposal.

From the article: Because of industry opposition in California, it's fallen to Maine, the most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi, to take the legislative lead. Maine faces a $400 million budget shortfall, and the bill, "An Act to Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products" stands a good chance, said Rep. Melissa Innes (, D-Yarmouth, the author. A joint state House and Senate committee hearing on the legislation is set for Jan. 22. Democrats have a majority in both houses... Maine may be ahead, but California is giving it a push, said Bill Sheehan, executive director of the Product Policy Institute, an Athens, Ga.-based nonprofit group that advocates for a "zero-waste" society. "Maine is clearly a leader in being first and most prolific," Sheehan said. "They 'got it' early on. But a lot of the energy for extended producer responsibility is coming from local governments, and that movement is sweeping down the West Coast."...

Read the full article

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Left at the Altar? The future of Maine's Product Stewardship leadership

maine-portland.jpgLast week Maine held public hearings on a new policy attempting to introduce comprehensive “framework” for producer responsibility. Maine has led the nation in product stewardship, but efforts to hold producers responsible for the damage created by their products may be derailed by some in the business community who oppose the new law. Maine State Rep. Melissa Walsh Innes reacts to last week's public hearings on LD 1631, An Act to Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products on her blog:
Will Maine leave Product Stewardship at the altar?
MelissaInnesPhoto.JPG"Okay, so Maine has over five product stewardship laws right now (leading the nation, a great thing), and we know that the laws have created jobs (just ask eWaste Recycling or Uniwaste), so why is the Maine business community getting cold feet and running from the altar? Maine has already been 'engaged' to product stewardship ever since we passed the well-known (or should I say infamous) bottle bill many years ago. Let's say it's been a long engagement, and Maine has recently become more and more committed to the idea, with the recent passing of extended producer responsibility laws in the last six years. Isn't it now time to take that next, big step, and profess our union with product stewardship by passing LD 1631, An Act to Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products, and setting up the process to allow our very knowledgeable DEP the administrative process of determining more products ripe for producer responsibility?

"I say yes, and over two dozen other people and organizations from Maine (and Nova Scotia!) said yes at the recent public hearing for the bill on Friday, the 22nd, in front of the Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources (more support is flowing in via e-mail). Product Stewardship is an economic train that's already out of the station. Florida and Massachusetts recently made declarations that they will be moving toward producer responsibility, and more and more States are realizing that they are being left with a mounting bill for their waste managment costs because producers continue to make products that contain toxic materials and/or they don't want to bother with recycling their consumers' discarded products into new products.

"Let's change the term Solid Waste Management to Solid Resource Management, and create new markets for products' reuse and recycling by committing and marrying the policy of product stewardship for Maine. Who will benefit? Everyone, even producers, even though they won't admit it now. The playing field will be fair, they will be more sustainable in their production to keep their product life-cycle costs down, and their will be less toxic products in our landfills and air. Let's get this done now."
Click here for bill information
Original post.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Product Policy Institute founder attends the Post Carbon Institute Fellows Retreat

Product Policy Institute founder, Bill Sheehan will be participating in a retreat for fellows of the Post Carbon Institute this weekend (Jan 22-24).

Post Carbon Institute fellows are 28 of the world's leading minds in the areas of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. While their areas of expertise range far and wide, one shared question binds them:

How do we manage the transition to a more resilient,
equitable, and sustainable world?

Bill SheehanBill Sheehan co-founded the Product Policy Institute with Helen Spiegelman in 2003 and serves as its Executive Director. Bill advocates for public policy that protects public health and safety and slows climate change by encouraging waste prevention, clean production and reduced use of toxics in products. He developed, with Spiegelman, a historical analysis that showed how municipal recycling and waste management services enable product manufacturers to design and sell goods without considering disposal costs and impacts.

Hearing on Maine’s producer responsibility framework

The State of Maine has the most producer responsibility laws in the United States. Now Maine may become the first state to adopt comprehensive “framework” producer responsibility legislation that is, setting up a process to apply the principles of producer responsibility to numerous problem products. On Friday January 22nd the Maine Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on LD 1631, An Act to Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products.

To see the map of all states with ERP policies, check out the framework map on PPI's website

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome to the Product Policy Institute's New Blog!

Check this space often for the latest information on PPI and friends.