The Missouri Product Stewardship Council (MO PSC) is a coalition of local governments, businesses, and other stakeholders that aim to reduce waste, increase reuse and recycling, save local governments money, and support jobs. We take a product stewardship approach, which seeks to share responsibility with product manufacturers and creates accountability for managing waste, particularly at the post-consumer stage. The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) helped establish the MO PSC and serves as its coordinator.
The Missouri Product Stewardship Council works on a range of products. Starting in 2018, they identified paint, mattresses, and pharmaceuticals as priority areas but continue to expand their activity, which in 2021 included packaging as an area of interest.
Although most leftover paint can be easily reused, recycled into new paint, or repurposed into other recycled products, much of it is trashed because people don’t know where to take it, and often have no other options. Paint is also the most expensive product for local household hazardous waste programs to manage, costing governments and taxpayers millions. Paint recycling creates jobs, saves natural resources, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
When leftover or expired drugs are thrown in the trash, in the toilet, or down the drain, they end up in landfills, sewage systems, or wastewater treatment facilities that are not equipped to remove them. From there, they enter our waterways, where they threaten wildlife and the quality of our drinking water sources. Drug “take-back” programs that let people conveniently drop off unused drugs for safe disposal are a key strategy to help prevent these problems.
There is currently no convenient way for most people to recycle their old mattresses. So, most mattresses end up in landfills or energy recovery facilities, where their bulk and relative flexibility make them difficult to handle. Product stewardship programs around the country work with mattress companies to set up and operate recycling programs that make it easy for consumers to recycle old mattresses, and relieve governments from the burden of managing this bulky waste.
The recycling rate for packaging and paper products (PPP) has been stagnant for nearly two decades. Single-use plastic packaging and products end up contaminating recycling streams, overburdening landfills, and littering our fields, forests, and waterways. Product stewardship for packaging is the solution.