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[GreenYes] California E-Waste Bill Fails Producer Responsibility Test
September 26, 2003

California E-Waste Bill Fails Producer Responsibility Test,
Claims Bi-National Environmental, Labor Coalition

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 26 /PRNewswire/
A bill signed Yesterday by California Governor Gray Davis,
Senate Bill 20, fails the 'producer responsibility test,'
according to the EPR Working Group, a coalition of U.S. and
Canadian environmental, labor, toxics and environmental
justice organizations promoting effective Extended Producer
Responsibility (EPR).

The Working Group recently developed a checklist of
Essential Elements of Effective EPR Programs, based on
successful programs in Europe, Japan and other parts of the
world.  EPR is a policy framework that extends brand owners'
responsibilities to include responsibility for life cycle
costs of their products and associated packaging, with the
goal of spurring better environmental design.

The California e-waste bill provides the first opportunity
to apply the Working Group's principles to policy that is
moving in the U.S.  After the European Union adopted
regulations requiring all brand owners of all electronic and
electrical products to pay for taking them back at end of
life, a number of states and provinces in North America have
been considering similar legislation.  Attention has focused
especially on California after the governor vetoed an
electronics waste bill in 2002, saying he wanted to see
producers take more responsibility for their products, like
in Europe.

"Based on these principles the bill fails miserably," said
EPR Working Group member Helen Spiegelman.  "It is a
traditional recycling program, financed with a tax and
managed by government."

The EPR Working Group published a report card today that
evaluates SB 20 in terms of the essential elements of its
checklist.  With a grade of Fail or Qualified Fail on eight
of the eleven elements, SB 20 was given a final grade of

A bright spot is that the bill is consistent with European
requirements in mandating phase-outs of hazardous materials.

However, failing grades were given to SB 20 for not holding
producers responsible for financing or running programs;
leaving out most electronic products; not adequately
controlling exports of used electronics; lacking incentives
for green design; and depending on consumer financing for
clean-up legacy waste, among other problems.

The Report Card on SB 20 and EPR Principles are posted at .  See also

Contact:  Bill Sheehan 706-613-0710

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