Environmental News Network
December 16, 2005


Local Government Returning Responsibility for Discarded Products and
Packaging is Best Solution, According to Product Policy Institute

ATHENS, Ga. -- The response to the first unilateral action by a local
government in North America to "return all responsibility for the
management of product waste" to senior levels of government was
applauded by the Athens, Georgia-based Product Policy Institute today.

"Product waste" is all the manufactured goods and packaging or "made
stuff" discarded in our society which local governments are typically
responsible for managing or regulating. Product waste is contrasted
with "organic waste" or "grown stuff" such as food and yard trimmings.

The local body, Kootenay Boundary Regional District (KBRD) in British
Columbia, Canada, wrote provincial Environment Minister, Barry Penner
in August. In the letter, KBRD Board Chair, Rick Hardie, acknowledged
British Columbia's leadership in the use of Extended Producer
Responsibility (EPR) policies, but said that KBRD's goal of achieving
"Zero Waste" would be difficult if not impossible to reach unless EPR
is extended to a broader range of products.

"The underlying problem," Hardie said, is "that Regional Districts
have been given responsibility for managing the discards of our
consumer society without being given adequate authority to do so in a
way that doesn't impact the local taxpayer."

At their Thursday meeting the KBRD Board heard the Minister's
response: "I agree that product waste is an appropriate definition for
the ultimate scope of EPR programs which would leave local governments
with the responsibility to manage only materials such as: garden or
food waste for composting; organic based waste; and demolition, land
clearing and construction refuse," Minister Penner wrote.

"The Board is very pleased with the Minister's commitment to expand
EPR programs in British Columbia to encompass all product waste," said
Raymond Gaudart, Resource Recovery coordinator for KBRD. "Over time
this commitment will relieve taxpayers of the ever increasing cost of
managing consumer discards and will provide an incentive to
manufacturers to design their products with recycling in mind.
Kootenay Boundary will continue to press the province for timely
expansion of EPR programs."

"This is the start of a new trend we will see much more of," said
Vancouver-based Helen Spiegelman, president of PPI. "Municipal
recycling and landfilling of products is not only costly to taxpayers;
it is welfare for the producers of wasteful products and actually
encourages production of more waste."

Both letters are posted at www.productpolicy.org/resources.

About The Product Policy Institute (PPI)

The Product Policy Institute (PPI) is a nonpartisan research and
education nonprofit organization promoting policies that advance
sustainable production, consumption and waste management in North
America. PPI is working with local governments to develop policies and
programs that conserve resources and reduce local taxes by
transferring responsibility for product waste management back to the
makers of products and their customers.

Website : www.productpolicy.org

Contact Info:
Helen Spiegelman
President Product Policy Institute

Raymond Gaudart
Kootenay Boundary Regional District
Posted at http://www.enn.com/?id=breakingnews

Product Policy Institute
P.O. Box 48433
Athens, GA 30604-8433 USA
Tel: 706-613-0710
Email: info@ProductPolicy.org
Web: www.ProductPolicy.org