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Connecticut Prepares to Launch Battery EPR Bill

Red batteries Connecticut is planning to introduce the nation’s first consensus-based extended producer responsibility bill for both rechargeable and single-use batteries during its 2015 legislative session.

Released June 11 at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s national battery stewardship dialogue meeting, the model bill was drafted by a group of battery trade organizations and is now at the heart of discussions and negotiations with state lawmakers throughout the US.

Under the new law, manufacturers would be required to collect and recycle all single-use and rechargeable batteries from consumers.

Although the model bill was created with the intent of being adopted by states nationwide, Connecticut will be the first to introduce it, and lawmakers there have until August to refine the bill’s language and tailor its provisions.

The two-day-long meeting in Connecticut included over 130 people, including representatives of 23 state and local agencies. It was designed and facilitated by the Product Stewardship Council. PSI’s government members, specifically those from Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, California and Washington, were key in laying the technical foundation and providing the meeting’s political fuel.

Vermont’s recently passed battery law, an active bill in California, the Connecticut battery meeting and various state bills were credited for providing the impetus for the model bill.

The four battery interest groups that created the model bill included the Corporation for Battery Recycling, The Rechargeable Battery Association, Call2Recycle, and Energizer, Duracell and Panasonic from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Carl Smith, chief executive officer and president of Call2Recycle, said that the possibility of patchwork battery legislation around the country made it clear that the time had come for industry and government officials to come together a create a single, streamlined model EPR bill.

Photo Credit: Red AA Batteries via Shutterstock 

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