Paint the town red...and have manufacturers take back the can

From Overbrook-grantee Product Stewardship Institute:

The Colorado State Legislature voted on April 15 to enact a bill requiring paint manufacturers to fund and operate a statewide post-consumer paint take-back program. The bill, SB 14-029, ensures the environmentally responsible end-of-life management of leftover paint throughout the State of Colorado, while shifting the managerial and financial burden away from the state and local governments. It will now go to Governor John Hickenlooper to sign into law.

Once signed, SB 14-029 will make Colorado the eighth state in the nation to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law for leftover paint. The bill is based on a model program developed through a multi-stakeholder dialogue that PSI facilitated. In 2010, Oregon became the first state to roll out a leftover paint collection and recycling program based on this model, followed by California in 2012 and, most recently, Connecticut in 2013. Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota and Maine are expected to implement paint stewardship programs this year; in fact, Vermont is on track to launch May 1st.

PaintCare, Inc. - the nonprofit organization established by the American Coatings Association, which represents paint manufacturers - will fund and oversee the implementation of Colorado's program, as it has done and will do for the other states. The source of this funding will be a small point-of-sale paint recovery fee that consumers pay to retailers. The retailers will then pass along the funds to manufacturers, which will in turn funnel them into PaintCare to manage the entire take-back program, including collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and administration. All architectural paint manufacturers that sell their products in Colorado will be required to register with the PaintCare program.

Colorado's embrace of SB 14-029 is great news for the product stewardship movement, as it represents a growing acceptance and understanding of EPR as a sustainable materials management solution - one that saves taxpayer dollars, creates new 'green' jobs, and helps protect the environment.