May 8 - Local Government Coalition Calls for Producer Responsibility for Toxic Lighting

The California Product Stewardship Council, the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and the British Columbia Product Stewardship Council issued a joint statement today asking manufacturers to take financial and environmental responsibility in the recycling of fluorescent lights. These products contain mercury and have been banned from being disposed into municipal waste streams.

These groups are working together to require that manufacturers take responsibility for minimizing the environmental impact of CFLs from design to disposal. Local governments and tax payers currently shoulder the financial burden of the disposal of these products, as well as the potential for future environmental liability. The groups today are calling for manufacturers to finance "cradle-to-cradle" management of the products they create in order to promote environmental sustainability. "Cradle-to-cradle" refers to designing and managing products for continuous reuse or recycling, rather than for disposal as waste in "graves."

The groups also applauded pending California legislation that would increase the development and use of energy efficient lighting, reduce the toxicity of the bulbs, and require manufacturers to provide take-back recycling services. They called the legislation a model for all states, and the next step in environmental protections.

Complete Press Release Here

CAW sponsored AB 1109 (Huffman), not only will increase energy efficiency in the state, but also requires manufacturers create a system for collecting and recycling end-of-life bulbs that contain hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury. Manufacturers would have to submit a take-back program plan by July 1, 2009 to the State. The bill has passed two Assembly policy committees and will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee.

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