Two Overbrook Grantees in the News

Two Overbrook grantees are in the news, proving yet again that good ideas and persistence over time really work!

Late last week, the Product Policy Institute celebrated the nation's first "framework" product stewardship bill, signed into law by Maine's Governor John Baldacci. Although many voices contributed to the law's passage, PPI has been setting the stage for extended producer responsibility legislation throughout the country since its inception in 2003.

"Framework" legislation sets up a system of standards that applies to all products, leveling the playing field so producers have comprehensive guidelines for production and recovery, rather than a patchwork of regulations requiring new rules for for each individual market. Producer responsibility laws have been passed in 31 states, but thus far have focused on individual products such as TVs, computer monitors, printers and other electronics. Maine's new law is the most comprehensive in the country and will act as a template for a national framework. It also expands the reach of products traditionally targeted by producer take-back programs, including guidelines for products such as pharmaceuticals and house paints.

Bill Sheehan, PPI's Executive Director, thinks Maine's framework legislation will encourage other states to follow. "I think it's a real breakthrough. We're really excited to finally see it happening, and with business support," he said. "It's going to keep the momentum building."

Click here for PPI's explanation of extended producer responsibility framework legislation, and the importance of standardizing rules.

The other Overbrook grantee in the news today is Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff (see my post from March 11). The Story of Stuff project launched its newest video early last week, the Story of Bottled Water, and in just a couple of days garnered over 120,000 viewers. As reported in today's New York Times, the International Bottled Water Association is fighting back with its own "true story" video, replete with footage of trickling streams and interviews with beverage industry people insisting on the virtues of their companies' environmental intentions. You be the judge and read the article here.