California Pharmaceutical Take-Back Could be National Model

Date: May 20, 2011

Source: News Room

California's waste department is advocating the creation of a mandated pharmaceutical take-back program. The Department of Resources, Recycling & Recovery (Cal/Recycle) in a report to the Legislature is recommending the state pass legislation setting up a product stewardship program that could eventually become a model for other states and even a federal program. Manufacturers would design, manage and finance a statewide take-back program while Cal/Recycle would oversee the program, according to one option. Another option floated by the department would be to levy a fee on consumers to fund a take-back program overseen by state officials. The initiative stems from a 2007 law (SB 966) that required Cal/Recycle to work with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop voluntary model guidelines for disposal of pharmaceutical items and report to the Legislature recommendations for potential implementation of a statewide program. The new report finds that local governments now fund more than 80 percent of pharmaceutical collection programs in California and pharmacies fund another 15 percent.

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