At the 78th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) held this past June 11-15, 2010 in Oklahoma City, OK, has called for State and Federal producer responsibility legislation to shift the burden of costs associated with difficult product and packaging waste away from both municipal governments and taxpayers back to the producers and end consumers of the products.
The USCM EPR (extended producer responsibility) policy is similar in scope to one developed by the Product Policy Institute currently used by 95 government groups and jurisdictions in California, New York, Texas, Minnesota and Massachusetts and is slowly catching up to Canada, Japan and some European countries.
In 2009 Canada’s Council of Ministers of the Environment approved in principle a nation-wide action plan for EPR and strategy for sustainable packaging.
The USMC resolution is looking to resolve the costs surrounding such difficult to dispose of products as batteries, fluorescent bulbs and syringes. As well, the USMC wants to reduce excess packaging and encourage use of recycled materials when manufacturing new products.