In honor of its 15th anniversary, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) hosted the 2015 U.S. Product Stewardship Forum, December 8-9th in Boston, Massachusetts. Environmental experts from around the United  States, Germany, Belgium, and Canada discussed issues regarding zero  waste, extended producer responsibility (EPR), product stewardship, and  the circular economy.

Conference Speakers included:

  • Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) announced the upcoming  introduction of the Pharmaceutical Stewardship Act, a federal bill that  would require pharmaceutical companies to manage and finance the safe  collection and disposal of their products.
  • Stewardship  organizations representing brand owners of packaging from Quebec,  British Columbia, and Belgium outlined the success of their EPR programs  and how these models can be easily applied to the U.S. market.
  • U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding  discussed the connection between climate change and the need to reuse  and recycle consumer products.

Additional conference panels and keynote speakers focused on product-specific issues, including:

  • Pharmaceutical take-back programs as a means to address the U.S. prescription drug abuse epidemic;
  • Emerging solutions to address the growing cost of safely managing electronics scrap;
  • The  importance of recycling batteries, electronics, and other products  containing rare earth metals, and how this propels us toward a  circular economy that reduces the costs and impacts of future  mining; and
  • Why  the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage to other countries that  require brand owners to properly manage the packaging they produce.

Recognized Environmental Stewards in Industry and Government are:
PSI  recognized key individual, agency, and company leaders who have  achieved significant success in moving product stewardship programs and  polices forward. This year’s awardees include:

  • 2015 Outstanding Industry Leadership Award: Alison Keane, American Coatings Association
  • 2015 Outstanding Industry Leadership Award: Marjaneh Zarrehparvar, PaintCare
  • 2015 Outstanding Industry Leadership Award: Mark Buckley, Staples
  • 2015 Outstanding Industry Leadership Award: John Waffenschmidt, Covanta
  • 2015  “Hometown Hero” Award for Outstanding Local Government Leadership:  Jennifer Holliday, Chittenden County Solid Waste District, VT
  • 2015  Outstanding State Government Leadership Award: Tom Metzner and Sherrill  Baldwin, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • 2015 Outstanding State Government Leadership Award: Fenton Rood, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
  • 2015 Loyal Steward Award: Scott Klag, Metro Regional Government, Oregon
  • 2015 “Gandalf” Award for Exceptional Guidance and Advising: Dave Galvin, King County, Washington

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