Who’s Responsible for Pharmaceutical Waste?
February 9, 2017
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 212, a placeholder bill on extended producer responsibility for pharmaceutical waste. A working group comprised of many stakeholders, including CSAC as well as other local government partners and industry members, is meeting on this issue to identify areas of consensus on the complicated issue to deal with a product’s lifecycle and potential impacts.
Consumer products that contain elements or harmful substances may pose a threat to public health or the environment; current policies often place the burden for cleanup and diversion solely on local governments. These programs are expensive and do not encourage responsibility sharing with those who produce the products that turn into hazardous waste.
Last year, CSAC supported SB 1229 (Jackson) to encourage pharmacies to host secure drug take-back bins by establishing a duty of care for the proper oversight of secure drug take-back bins, and provides limited civil and criminal liability immunity for pharmacies hosting drug take-back bins if they meet that duty of care. CSAC supported this bill as a positive step toward encouraging good-faith participation in programs that have the potential to reduce the presence of a wide variety of drugs in the waste stream. This bill was signed by the governor, and CSAC will continue to work on the concept of extended producer responsibility.