Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed into law the nation's third program requiring paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from households and painting contractors.
The law, Public Act 11-24, will increase opportunities for residents and contractors to recycle architectural paint, while saving significant costs for local agencies. The legislation was supported by the paint industry, and is the third law resulting from a multi-stakeholder negotiation facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). The first two laws passed in Oregon and California in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
More than 609 million gallons of architectural paint are sold in the United States each year, 10 percent of which is estimated to remain unused. Underfunded municipal collection programs result in insufficient reuse, recycling, and improper disposal of leftover paint.
"We look forward to building on our experience in Oregon and California to launch a program in Connecticut that not only works for the paint industry, but also meets the public's need for convenience, efficiency, and cost effectiveness," said Alison Keane, Vice President for the American Coatings Association (ACA). "The Product Stewardship Institute's unique process of engaging both government and industry stakeholders and incorporating all interests into the solution helped us develop a state model that can be replicated across the country instead of having a patchwork of laws."
The new program in Connecticut, slated to begin implementation on or before July 1, 2013, will include the cost of safely managing leftover paint in the purchase price of new paint, and will set up an industry-led program to reduce paint waste, increase reuse and recycling, and safely dispose of remaining unusable paint.
"As any homeowner in Connecticut knows, getting rid of unwanted paint is a difficult challenge," said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. "With our new program, we will provide a convenient option for residents to safely recycle or dispose of unwanted paint by taking it to a participating retailer or household hazardous waste program. Thanks to the cooperation of the paint industry, we will be able to increase our recycling, save money for municipalities and provide a valuable service to our citizens -- all at no cost to state taxpayers."
"Local governments need help from product manufacturers to provide the level of convenience and customer service required to properly manage one of our most costly waste streams," said Lori Vitagliano of the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council.
"This law would not have been possible without the steadfast leadership of the paint industry and the perseverance of other stakeholders," said Scott Cassel, PSI's Executive Director. "Every decision was made through a painstaking consensus, and it will pay off in the form of millions of dollars of savings each year for Connecticut local governments, increased environmental benefits, and additional environmental jobs."
There are more than 60 state producer responsibility laws around the country that require product manufacturers to provide for the collection and recycling of electronics, mercury thermostats, fluorescent lamps, and other products that cause unintended environmental impacts if not properly managed. PSI continues to work with other states pursuing paint stewardship legislation as part of the continued implementation of the national multi-stakeholder agreement.
About the Product Stewardship Institute: The Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI) is a national non-profit environmental institute with membership from 47 states, more than 200 local governments, and more than 75 businesses, organizations, universities, and non-U.S. governments. PSI establishes cooperative agreements to reduce the health and environmental impacts from consumer products. For more information: www.productstewardship.us.
About the American Coatings Association: The American Coatings Association is a voluntary, nonprofit trade association working to advance the needs of the paint and coatings industry and the professionals who work in it. The organization represents paint and coatings manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, distributors, and technical professionals. ACA incorporated its 501(c)(3) PaintCare organization in 2009 to address the need for an industry-led product stewardship solution for unwanted, leftover post-consumer paint. For more information: www.paintcare.org.
About the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council: The Connecticut Product Stewardship Council is a group of local governments, regional councils of elected officials, state government, businesses, environmental advocacy groups, and concerned citizens who promote a "product stewardship", or "producer responsibility" system for financing the end of life management of certain waste streams in Connecticut. For more information: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2708&q=447196&depNav_GID=1763