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At the Product Stewardship Institute’s (PSI) July 25-26 conference, environmental experts from around the United States, Belgium, and Canada discussed national and global trends in the circular economy, recycling, product stewardship, and zero waste.

This year’s event focused on current product stewardship trends in the United States, emphasizing packaging, pharmaceuticals, paint, electronics, and Household Hazardous Waste. Leaders from around the world assessed the successes and challenges of extended producer responsibility programs. They provided the context needed to help advance the product stewardship movement in the U.S.

PSI recognized agency and company leaders who have been the trailblazers of product stewardship programs and who have been influential in moving policies forward. Our very own Mark Kurschner was recognized for his work with Product Care Recycling by being awarded the Cornerstone Award.

As President of Product Care Recycling, Mark runs successful stewardship programs throughout Canada for paint, household hazardous waste, pesticides, smoke alarms, lights, and more. These programs work as inspiration for the implementation of similar programs in the States. For example, Mark’s explanation of the Canadian paint stewardship program in the early 2000’s was instrumental in PSI’s agreement with the paint industry, which served as the foundation for the existing 9 paint stewardship laws in the U.S.

In 2016, Product Care Recycling recycled 16 million litres of paint, which is enough to paint 600,000 homes inside and out. The organization also collected more than 10.5 million lights for recycling. Evidently, Product Care Recycling is paving the way for special waste recycling programs not only in Canada, but all over the world.

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