Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Toxic cadmium served in a 'Shrek' glass is a supply chain communication problem

In recent news, McDonald's recalls over 12 million "Shrek" movie glasses because of toxic cadmium in the paint.  Each glass would have sold for $2.  This is a supply chain communication problem.  There are solutions on the market for supply chain communication regarding toxic substances -- this blog discusses them in detail often, for example, here and here.  Toxic substances such as cadmium, lead, and mercury are known as substances of very high concern or SVHCs. Best practices for companies seeking to avoid recalls because of SVHCs are here, in this article online called Material Disclosure Best Practices.

Can Product Stewardship Help?

Thousands met in Denver last month to confer on subjects of Industrial Hygiene and Chemicals in Manufacturing.  And last March, Maine passed the first Product Stewardship framework law in the U.S.  Product stewardship laws typically intend to shift the fiscal and physical burden of dealing with hard-to-recycle products away from local communities and toward producers and their suppliers.  These laws also tend to shift the burden toward consumers and others who benefit from products sold and used.  So how do you recycle a paint can?  Stay tuned - it's not easy now and it won't get easier.  The measure might inspire consumers towards greener -- and easier to dispose of -- products.

Maine Governor John E. Baldacci signed the "Provide Leadership Regarding the Responsible Recycling of Consumer Products" Act on March 11.  Under this law, producers are required to file and implement product stewardship plans, detailing the collection, transportation, reuse and recycling or disposal of their end-of-life products. A state agency has been given authority to determine which product categories will fall under the new law. The following products have been highlighted for legislation on product-specific producer responsibility:

Paint
Lighting
Household Battery
Carpet

Pending California law will require a carpet producer or carpet stewardship organization to submit a plan, and a report on the plan annually thereafter, to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (Calrecycle)  California.gov

Other Green Industry News Of Interest

Report: Ohio positioned for green jobs Dayton Daily News
Nylon Carpet Recycler Revs Up in Delaware Plastic News
Utah scientists invent chemical to stop anthrax ABC News
With Solar Valley project, China embarks on bold green technology mission?  Washington Post