The Problem with Coca Cola Enterprises’ ‘Don’t Waste, Create’ Campaign


The Problem with Coca Cola Enterprises’ ‘Don’t Waste, Create’ Campaign
By Raz Godelnik | September 6th, 2013

Hearing about Coca Cola Enterprises’ (CCE) new sustainability initiative in the UK designed to boost the reuse and recycling of plastic bottles, my expectations were pretty high. After all, CCE, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Western Europe, is known to be taking sustainability seriously and is even considered one of the leaders in exploring consumer behavior change.
Therefore I hoped the ‘Don’t Waste, Create’ campaign would be strong, maybe even as progressive and exciting as CCE’s ‘Recycle for the Future’ study, wherein the company teamed up with university researchers to closely observe the dynamics that drive waste disposal and recycling in the homes of 20 French and English families.
Unfortunately I was dead wrong. If ‘Recycle for the Future’ was all about the future of using brand marketing to encourage recycling, ‘Don’t Waste, Create’ campaign is all about the past and not necessarily in a good way.
In fairness, maybe my expectations of CCE were too high in the first place because of its impressive track record, but please read the following description of the campaign and tell me if it doesn’t have a ‘90s feel to it:
“The ‘Don’t Waste. Create’ campaign will encourage consumers to use their waste packaging at home in a fun and useful way, while also pledging to recycle… By asking parents to submit their recycling ‘pledges’, the initiative aims to educate and inform families about the importance of recycling, while also suggesting activities that allow them to reconnect with nature and keep their families entertained during the summer holidays. ‘Don’t Waste. Create’ idea sheets will be available for parents to download at home …Suggested ideas include a bottle bird feeder or self-watering bottle plant pot. After the activities have been completed, households are encouraged to recycle their creations once they are no longer needed.”
The online campaign, which began last month and runs through September is also accompanied with in-store activities at Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chain, although the website doesn’t give much detail about the partnership. And there are also rewards – in return for pledging to recycle, customers receive a voucher for 80 cents off their next purchase of a 2-liter bottle of a Coke product, and also have the chance to win “a family ‘glamping’ holiday in France.”
Trying to figure out what CCE had in mind when thinking about this campaign, I read the explanation from Nick Brown, Associate Director for Recycling at Coca-Cola Enterprises: “CCE is committed to reducing plastic waste and helping our customers to re-think how they dispose of their packaging. By asking them to re-use and then recycle plastic bottles, ‘Don’t Waste. Create’ encourages families to think more sustainably while having fun, giving them a tangible way to help reduce their household waste.“
This is where I got even more confused. CCE is a company involved in a number of innovative and challenging initiatives, from participating in the UK soft drinks industry’s effort to reduce its carbon emissions to Continuum Recycling, a recycled-PET joint venture with ECO Plastics that processed 500 million bottles in its first year of operation. In addition, CCE has committed to recycling more packaging than it uses by 2020 and generally demonstrates a clear understanding of where it can really make a difference (energy and climate change and sustainability packaging and recycling).
So I couldn’t help but wonder how such a company believes that providing customers with instructions on how to make a bottle bird feeder or a bottle plant pot from empty Coke bottles will encourage them “to think more sustainably while having fun, giving them a tangible way to help reduce their household waste?”
While some might argue the answer is that this campaign isn’t really about encouraging customers to recycle more Coke bottles but rather about encouraging them to buy more Coke, I believe this is just an example of a poorly designed campaign. Why? First, because it’s not clear if the ‘remedy’ the campaign offers (make recycling fun) actually relates to the reasons behind the low at-home recycling rates in the UK, and second, the ‘fun’ component in the campaign doesn’t seem to be utilizing game thinking and elements very well.
Looking at the issues explored in CCE’s observational study it’s not clear if the ‘fun’ factor has anything to do with the low recycling rates in British households (half of plastic bottles in the UK are not collected for recycling and most of them are thrown away at home). Some of the issues mentioned include consumers’ need for more information about recycling and the recycling infrastructure. Over 30 percent of people in the UK believe collected materials are not recycled.
Nevertheless, as Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter write in their book “For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business,” fun is an extraordinarily valuable tool to address serious business pursuits. That also includes customer engagement and sustainability. Yet, in this case, the game thinking, which according to Werbach and Hunter is the mind-set required to deploy fun in a considered and directed way, is lacking.
Werbach makes the case that a well-gamified system includes all three basic elements of intrinsic motivation: competence (overcoming challenges), autonomy (being in control and having options), and relatedness (sense of purpose or goals). In other words, he says, if you use this elements properly it results in participants having fun. Is this the case here? I doubt it.
While the campaign is loosely connected to these three elements, it is really far from mastering them. Just compare it to Heineken’s six pack design challenge or think what would this campaign look like if it was based on a competition on the best idea for reusing a Coke bottle with the backup of a smart platform like Club Psych – that could really be fun, right?
[Image credit: Coca-Cola Enterprises Limited (CCE)]


If hydraulic fracturing is as safe as its proponents claim


Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach

Posted Jul 1, 2013 by Sandra Postel (originally posted by the National geographic)


A Marcellus shale gas well operation in Scott Township, Pennsylvania. Photo credit: wcn247/Flickr Creative Commons


At least one aspect of fracking’s risks to drinking water became a little clearer this week.


A study led by Rob Jackson of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that drinking water wells located within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well in a region of northeastern Pennsylvania are at high risk of contamination with methane.


Fracking, shorthand for hydraulic fracturing, is the process of blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals deep underground at high pressure so as to fracture shale rock and release the gas it holds.


Colorless, odorless, and highly flammable, methane is the primary component of natural gas. It is not regulated as a drinking water contaminant, but it poses potential health and safety hazards.  If the gas builds up in a basement or other confined space, for example, it can set off an explosion or start a fire.  If breathed in high enough concentrations, it can cause dizziness, headaches and nausea.


The risks of long-term exposure and of secondary water quality changes due to high levels of dissolved methane are not known.


The research team analyzed 141 drinking water wells in northeastern Pennsylvania’s gas-rich Marcellus shale region and detected methane in 82 percent of them.  For homes within 1 kilometer of a gas well, the average methane concentration was six times higher than in water wells located further away.

Nearly 1 in 11 of the household wells analyzed had methane concentrations above the threshold level set by the U.S. Department of Interior for immediate remediation; all but one of those drinking water wells was within 1 kilometer of an active shale gas well.


By analyzing the isotopic signature of the gases, Jackson’s team determined that the methane found in the drinking water was of fossil origin, not from current biological activity.  The presence of ethane and propane, constituents of natural gas that are not produced by microbes, also signaled that the contamination was coming from nearby fracking operations.


Ethane was detected in 30 percent of the home water wells sampled, and concentrations of this gas were 23 times higher on average for homes less than one kilometer from a fracking well.


“Overall, our data suggest that some homeowners living <1 km from gas wells have drinking water contaminated with stray gases,” Jackson’s team concluded.


Stray gases are those that leak out of the production wells and enter the surrounding environment, including groundwater.  The leaks can occur, for example, from faulty steel casings, which are supposed to keep the gas inside the well. Or they can occur from imperfections in the cement sealing between the well casing and the surrounding rock that permit fluids to migrate up the outside of the gas well.


While compelling, the study is not definitive because of the lack of data on the quality of the drinking water wells before the fracking began.


To better gauge fracking’s risks to drinking water, the natural gas industry should be required to disclose its well records or pay for the state or a third party to collect water quality data before fracking operations are allowed to begin.


Without those data, we are flying blind about where, how and under what conditions fracking poses threats to drinking water.


As the Jackson team concludes: “Ultimately, we need to understand why, in some cases, shale gas extraction contaminates groundwater and how to keep it from happening elsewhere.”


The migration of methane into groundwater is only one possible risk to water quality from fracking.  Another is the potential for the fracking fluids – the toxic mixture of sand, water and chemicals used to break open the gas-holding shale formations – to move through natural or secondary fractures into groundwater.  And yet another is the contamination threat posed by the discharge of toxic wastewater produced by fracking operations.


In all these cases, more scientific research is needed.  Much of it requires that industry not only collect and make available pre-fracking water quality data, but also release the names of the chemicals they are using, instead of hiding them behind the veil of company secrets.


Ultimately, more transparent and safer fracking operations will benefit the industry as well as the families living in fracking territory.  Until the public has full confidence that its drinking water is being safeguarded from contamination, it will continue to protest fracking’s expansion.


If hydraulic fracturing is as safe as its proponents claim, then the industry should welcome the scientific studies needed to prove it so.


Until such studies are completed, the public is wise to call for precautionary measures – including moratoriums on fracking.


Originally published at National Geographic Newswatch

Water Stress Threatens Future Energy Production

                        Posted by Sandra Postel of National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative in Water Currents on July 18, 2013


Riverbend Steam Station, a coal-fired power plant on North Carolina’s Catawba River. Nationwide, thermoelectric power production requires more than 200 billion gallons of water a day, most of it to cool the plants. Duke Energy plans to retire Riverbend in 2015 as part of its effort to modernize its power stations. Photo: Flickr/cc/Duke Energy

When we flip on a light, we rarely think about water.  But electricity generation is the biggest user of water in the United States.  Thermoelectric power plants alone use more than 200 billion gallons of water a day – about 49 percent of the nation’s total water withdrawals.

Large quantities of water are needed as well for the production, refining and transport of the fuels that light and heat our homes and buildings, and run our buses and cars.  Every gallon of gasoline at the pump takes about 13 gallons of water to make.

And of course hydroelectric energy requires water to drive the turbines that generate the power.  For every one-foot drop in the level of Lake Mead on the Colorado River, Hoover Dam loses 5-6 megawatts of generating capacity – enough to supply electricity to about 5,000 homes.

In short, energy production is deeply dependent on the availability of water.  And, as a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) makes clear, as climate change brings hotter temperatures, more widespread and severe droughts, and lower river and lake levels, the nation’s energy supply is becoming more vulnerable.

Consider these examples from the DOE report:

  • In      September 2010, Lake Mead dropped to levels not seen since the drought of      1956; as a result, the Bureau of Reclamation cut Hoover Dam’s generating      capacity by 23 percent.
  • In 2009,      NV Energy abandoned plans for a 1,500 Megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant      that would have used more than 7.1 million gallons of water per hour.
  • Extreme      drought in the fall of 2011 led the city of Grand Prairie, Texas, to ban      the use of municipal water for hydraulic fracturing in order to save the      city’s dwindling drinking water supply.  
  • In 2007,      2010 and 2011, the Tennessee Valley Authority had to reduce power output      from its Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama because the temperature of      the river into which the plant discharges was high enough to raise      ecological risks.
  • In the      summer of 2012, low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada curtailed California’s      hydroelectric generating capacity by 8 percent.
  • At the      Martin Lake Steam Electric Station in Texas, drought so reduced the level      of its cooling pond that cooling water had to be piped in from another      water source eight miles away.

One particularly interesting figure in the report compares the water requirements of seven different types of electric power facilities – nuclear, coal, biopower, natural gas combined-cycle, concentrated solar, photovoltaic solar and wind.  The last two come out as by far the most water-conserving electricity sources.  In contrast to the 20,000-60,000 gallons per megawatt-hour needed for nuclear and coal plants with “once-through” cooling systems, PV solar and wind require only negligible quantities.


Locations of the 100 coal-fired power plants most vulnerable to water stress. Courtesy U.S. Department of Energy.

Of the one hundred coal-fired power plants deemed to be most vulnerable to water shortages, most are located in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina (see map). In these states, water for cooling may be constrained by low river flows, high water temperatures or both – forcing utilities to cut back on power generation.

On balance the study’s findings make a strong case for a more rapid shift to renewable energy sources to shore up the nation’s energy security in the face of climate change.

If there’s a call to action in the DOE assessment, it’s this:  If, by 2050, the United States could get 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources – with nearly half coming from water-thrifty wind and solar photovoltaic generation – then total water consumption in the U.S. power sector would decline by about half.

Given the projections for climate-related disruptions to the water cycle, there is little time to waste in making this transition.

Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project, Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and author of several books and numerous articles on global water issues.  She is co-creator of Change the Course, the national freshwater conservation and restoration campaign being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.

will birds get confused by so much light?

MGM Resorts raises stakes with giant Vegas solar system

By BusinessGreen Staff Published July 10, 2013

In Las Vegas, everything is on a grander scale, so it should come as no surprise the gambling capital of the world soon will be home to one of the world’s largest rooftop solar systems.

NRG Energy last week announced plans to install a 6.2 megawatt (MW) installation on top of the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center. At peak production, the array should produce enough electricity to meet around a fifth of the building’s energy demand, while reducing pressure on the grid at the hottest time of the day.

“The new 20,000-panel solar rooftop array at Mandalay Bay will effectively enable the resort to lock in a substantial component of its energy costs at a very competitive rate,” Tom Doyle, president and chief executive of NRG Solar, said in a statement.

“Our expectation is that other corporations will follow thought leaders like MGM Resorts to protect our planet.”

Once the project is completed, Mandalay Bay will buy the electricity generated through a power purchase agreement.

The system is the latest in a series of environmental measures taken by parent company MGM Resorts under its Green Advantage sustainability initiative.

Over the past five years, the company has reduced its energy intensity by more than 12 percent and has saved more than 2.5 billion gallons of water.

The news comes as U.S. developer SolarCity announced it has started fitting 3.4 MW of solar rooftop systems at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

The project will see solar systems installed on more than 600 military homes as part of the company’s SolarStrong program to power 120,000 military residences.

Similar schemes are underway at bases in Texas, Hawaii, Los Angeles and Colorado, contributing to the Department of Defense’s target to meet a quarter of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2025.

In other solar industry news, the investment arm of insurance giant Aviva has acquired a 12.3 MW portfolio of residential solar systems built on 4,000 U.K. homes from Ecovision Renewable Energy Ltd.

Aviva Investors will collect revenue generated through the feed-in tariff subsidy scheme, while residents continue to save money on their electricity bills.

“This acquisition continues the expansion of our activities in the U.K. renewable sector and is in line with our strategy of investing in high quality infrastructure assets with attractive yields,” Ian Berry, fund manager of infrastructure and renewable energy at Aviva Investors, said in a statement.

“As institutions continue to look towards assets that offer secure and long-dated income streams in order to meet their liabilities, we believe infrastructure opportunities such as this offer the potential to meet these needs.”

Image courtesy of MGM Resorts International.

12 Ways to Go Green at Work

Below are 12 helpful tips to go green at work.

1) Spend Smart on Green

The purchase and use of environmentally-friendly products can have a big impact, and not just on the environment. Buying green affects everything from worker safety to the bottom line.

– Products that are reusable, refillable, more durable or repairable create less waste and are more cost-effective in the long run than disposable or single-use products.
– Manufacturing recycled products uses less energy than goods made from virgin materials. Buying recycled products keeps recycling programs going and saves natural resources.
– Using energy-efficient and water-conserving products saves money and resources. When making purchasing decisions, it pays to do a little homework. Consider the following:
– Is the product less hazardous?
– Is it reusable or more durable?
– Is it made from recycled materials? Do we really need to buy a virgin product when the recycled version is just as good?
– What happens to the product at the end of its life? Can it be recycled? Will the manufacturer take the product back? Will it need special disposal?
– Does it conserve energy or water?
– Is it made from renewable plant-based raw materials?

2) Leave a Big Mark-Not a Big Footprint

Living and working green means knowing your carbon footprint and taking steps to balance its impact. Offsetting your company’s carbon footprint is the fastest and most economical way to help protect critical forests worldwide, which is one of the most effective solutions to climate change. One way to offset your carbon footprint is to support renewable energy (energy generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal) by buying renewable energy credits (RECs). Additionally, utility companies may work with industrial and commercial consumers to implement on-site energy-efficiency measures which can decrease usage or shift a portion of it to off-peak hours and rates.

3) Be a Star-Buy Energy Star

The next time your office is in the market for computer equipment, printers, fax machines, kitchen appliances or even light bulbs, look for the Energy Star certification. Energy Star products are among the top energy performers on the market. One example of why is that some Energy Star products power down automatically when not in use-conserving up to 75% of electricity compared to standard models. They reduce pollution, lower energy bills, generate less heat and have a longer life span than other equipment. See for more information.

4) Get Energized

Of the $250 billion spent per year on powering computers worldwide, only about 15% of that power is spent computing-the rest is wasted idling. 40% of the energy used for electronics is used while these devices are turned off. Obviously, just because a device is turned off or not in use, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t eating up electricity. In fact, even when a computer is switched off, the surge protector can still draw energy-up to 75%!

– Programming your computer to sleep after 30 minutes of non-use can cut power demand by up to 90%.
– Stepping away for longer than 30 minutes? Turn the computer off and unplug the surge protector. (Booting up again uses the equivalent of only two seconds of run time and won’t hurt the hard drive).
– Monitors are especially big energy drains. Be sure to turn them off after 20 minutes of non-use.
– Printers, scanners and peripherals that are only used occasionally should be unplugged until needed.

5) Get the Green Light

Making green choices when it comes to lighting not only provides energy efficiency and savings, it also adds to the comfort, productivity and ambience of your workplace.

– Replace regular incandescent bulbs and fixtures with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). CFLs cast a warmer, soft white glow. Although initially more expensive than regular bulbs, they use between 60% and 80% less energy and last much longer (between 6,000 and 15,000 hours compared with about 1,000 hours with incandescents).
– Use task lighting.
– Install dimmers and timers to extend bulb life.
– Don’t underestimate the power of natural daylight, it’s free, it’s pleasant and has been proven to improve worker productivity and customer satisfaction. Also, be sure that walls are painted in a light color to enhance the advantage of that natural light.
– Lighting accounts for up to 50% of a building’s energy consumption. By simply turning off unnecessary lights, you can reduce the amount of energy used for lighting by up to 45%.

6) Use and Re-use

Reusing products delays or avoids altogether their entry into the waste stream, so think refillable, rechargeable, not disposable, whenever possible.

– Challenge your associates to think of ways to give new life to used items, for instance, shredded waste paper makes great packing material.
– Set up an area to store and exchange reusable office supplies such as binders.

If you can’t reuse a product, there are usually others who can. Go to (Keep America Beautiful) for suggestions on exchange programs and other reuse strategies.

7) Clean Conscience Cleaning

Five billion pounds of chemicals are used annually for institutional cleaning. The good news is that the risk of injury from chemicals and environmental damage can be dramatically reduced by replacing the most dangerous cleaning products with safer ones.

– Opt for solutions that are non-toxic, non-VOC (volatile organic compound), water-based, biodegradable, phosphate-, chlorine- and ammonia-free and those with ingredients derived from renewable resources, not petroleum.
– Buy in concentrate and bulk so that shipping and packaging waste is reduced.

8) Breathe Easy

Here’s what the air in any office setting can potentially contain: ozone generated by photocopiers, dust, allergens, outdoor fumes brought in by the central air conditioning; gaseous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from furniture, paint and carpeting. And then there’s the stuff dragged in on our shoes: oil, antifreeze, particulate pollution, pollen, etc. All combine to create unsafe air quality and contribute to Sick Building Syndrome. What can you do to clean up the air in your workplace?

– Look for low VOC alternatives in carpets, adhesives, paints, even furniture.
– Help keep what’s on the sidewalk out with quality doormats or entryway track-off systems.

Remember, less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy and fewer chemicals.

9) Sitting Pretty

Making environmentally savvy choices in office furniture is getting easier and easier. Whether a piece of furniture is made from wood, cloth, metal or plastic, there are earth-friendly options.

– Opt for modular office suites. These component-based systems let you reconfigure workspaces and mix and match as your needs change, helping to eliminate the need to buy new.
– Use flexible interior features, such as movable walls to help reduce waste associated with renovations.

Don’t overlook the fact that, even if it’s initially more expensive, buying quality furniture that’s durable and can be readily repaired could easily save money in the long run, plus, lessen the chance that it’ll end up in the landfill.

10) Paper 101

How do you choose paper that is good for the environment and meets your needs? Some things to keep in mind: First things first, when looking to make an environmentally responsible paper purchase, you’re looking for more than the recycled symbol. Post-Consumer Waste Content (PCW): The single most important factor to consider is the percentage of post-consumer waste content. Paper with post-consumer content contains recycled fiber from paper which has already been used by the consumer and then collected for recycling. The higher the level of post-consumer content the better. Today, more and more products are available with post-consumer recycled content including: file pocket portfolios, hanging file folders, report covers, various storage boxes, file holders, file covers and three-ring binders. By using recycled post-consumer content paper, we save trees, water and prevent the air and water pollution, soil erosion and destruction of wildlife habitats associated with harvesting.

11) Digitize to Maximize

Did you know that one 2GB flash drive can store up to 20 yards of books? Storing data digitally frees up space, time and money. It minimizes clutter and helps eliminate unnecessary paper waste. Plus, transferring data digitally or transporting digital storage devices is infinitely easier and less costly than transporting files, cabinets and furniture, should your office be moving to a new locale.

12) Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.

You already know this, so it’s just a reminder that everything from empty ink and toner cartridges (a single cartridge thrown into landfill can take up to 450 years to decompose) to office paper (115 billion sheets of paper are used annually for personal computers) to plastic bottles (Americans use 3.3 million plastic bottles every hour, but recycle only one in five) is RECYCLABLE. 79 million tons: that’s the amount of waste material diverted away from disposal through recycling and composting in one year.

California PaintCare new program for paint recycling was launched today October 19, 2012

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California PaintCare will launch October 19, 2012

Press Release

California is the second state in the U.S. to enact industry-supported, paint stewardship legislation. This model legislation ensures environmentally-responsible management for postconsumer (leftover) architectural paint and relieves local and state governments of the economic burden of postconsumer paint management. PaintCare’s California Program begins October 19, 2012.

Legislation and Regulations
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
PaintCare Program Plan
Information for Consumers
Information for Retailers
Information for Manufacturers
Information for Municipal Paint Management Programs
Legislation and State Oversight
California’s PaintCare Program is a result of Assembly Bill 1343 (Huffman), passed in 2010. The legislation is further clarified through regulations. Links to the law, regulations, and to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) – the state agency overseeing implementation of the paint stewardship law – are provided here:

PaintCare Program Plan
The California Paint Stewardship Law requires manufacturers (either individually or through a stewardship organization such as PaintCare) to design their own stewardship program and present it to CalRecycle in the form of a Program Implementation Plan. The Plan specifies how postconsumer paint will be collected, transported, recycled and processed at its end-of-life, as well as how consumer education and outreach will be done to promote proper purchasing, using up remaining paint, and properly recycling or disposing of unwanted postconsumer paint. CalRecycle approved PaintCare’s Implementation Plan in July 2012. The initial and approved Program Plans are provided here:

Information for Paint Consumers

PaintCare Recovery Fees
Starting October 19, 2012, paint consumers will see the following PaintCare Recovery Fees added to the purchase price of architectural paints and coatings. As described in the section above, these fees will be used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program, including postconsumer paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration:

Half pint or less   $ 0.00
More than half pint to 1 less than 1 gallon   $ 0.35
1 gallon   $ 0.75
More than 1 gallon to 5 gallons   $ 1.60

Paint Drop-off Sites
Also beginning October 19, 2012, PaintCare will establish hundreds of retail and municipal postconsumer paint drop-off sites throughout the state. More than 450 sites have expressed interest in servicing as a drop-off site, however not all sites will be set up by October 19. PaintCare will work diligently to set up interested sites as soon as possible, so please check our site locator tool frequently for sites in your area.

Additional Information
The following documents provide additional information about the PaintCare program:

Information for Paint Retailers

Retail Responsibility
The California Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers to (1) include the PaintCare Recovery Fee in the sale price of program products, (2) only sell products registered for the program, and (3) maintain certain records for three years. More details are provided here:

1. Add Assessment Fee: Manufacturer must add the following Recovery Fees to their wholesale price of paint. Retailers much ensure these fees stay on the program product and are passed down to the consumer.

Half pint or less   $ 0.00
More than half pint to 1 less than 1 gallon   $ 0.35
1 gallon   $ 0.75
More than 1 gallon to 5 gallons   $ 1.60

The following poster can be downloaded and displayed in your store to assist with consumer education.

2. Sell Registered Brands: Make sure you are not selling unregistered architectural paint brands. Please note that the following manufacturer and brand lists are regularly updated. If you do not see a manufacturer or brand sold in your store on this list, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3683.

3. Maintain Required Records. Retailer must maintain required records. CalRecycle has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. Records must be retained by retailers for three years. Specifically, retailers must provide access to records on all architectural paint sold or offered for sale in the state including:

  1. The manufacturer of the paint;
  2. The date(s) the retailer purchased the paint from the manufacturer; and
  3. The date(s) the retailer sold the paint.

CalRecycle does not specify the form or method of documentation; retailers may maintain this information in any way they believe will verify compliance in the event of a review by CalRecycle.

CalRecycle may use a variety of mechanisms to verify retailer compliance, including, but not limited to program awareness, physical inspection, product review, and inspection of records as noted above.

CalRecycle has stated that it takes a progressive enforcement approach, with education being the first step in the case of non-compliance. CalRecycle staff can be reached at

Program Factsheets
The following factsheets provide additional information about program requirements for retailers:

Becoming a Paint Drop-off Site
Retailers may volunteer to be a paint drop-off site for residents and certain businesses in their community. To learn more about this, please see the following factsheet and sign-up form, and review the material under the next subsection (Drop-off Site Materials).

Drop-off Site Materials
PaintCare provides the following materials to drop-off sites as part of their training. Updates are made to these materials from time to time, and may be downloaded as needed.

Point-of-Sale (POS) Materials
All California paint retailers were mailed a starting packet of POS Trifold Brochures and POS Mini Cards prior to the California program launch. To order additional quantities please fill out the order form provided here. To discuss co-branding opportunities, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3694. Also available for downloading are bill inserts to notify business customers of the PaintCare program.

Retail Webinars
Webinars were held in August 2012 to provide California paint retailers an overview of the new California Paint Stewardship Law and to discuss the responsibilities and opportunities for paint retailers. A copy of the presentation is posted here.

Additional webinars are schedule for October and November. To register, please see the dates below:

Information for Manufacturers of Architectural Coatings

State Compliance
By participating in the PaintCare Program, you will fulfill your obligations of the California Paint Stewardship law. The PaintCare program is funded by a per-can assessment fee (“PaintCare Recovery Fee”) paid by architectural paint manufacturers to PaintCare based on their sales in California. The fees fund all aspects of the required program. The following factsheet provide additional information about the California Paint Stewardship Law and PaintCare program.

PaintCare Registration
To register your company and paint brands with PaintCare, please fill out the following form and return as instructed. Following submittal of the form, PaintCare will update its registered manufacturer and brand lists and provide the update to CalRecycle. You will also receive a response from PaintCare with information on how to establish a confidential on-line profile for sales reporting and Recovery Fee remittance.

Registered Manufacturers and Brands
PaintCare maintains a list of registered manufacturers and brands. After October 19, 2012, brands not registered with the PaintCare program may not be sold in California. Retailers use these lists to verify that they are only selling registered architectural coatings. CalRecycle uses these lists to conduct compliance audits and enforcement.

Remitter Agreement
Agreements may be used to transfer the payment function from the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer. The following factsheet details how and under what circumstances a Remitter Agreement may be used, and why the agreement may be helpful in a complex distribution chain. There are two types of Remitter Agreements – one that moves the reporting and fee remittance function from a manufacturer to a retailer or distributor, and one that moves it from the distributor to a retailer – both are provided below.

Information for Municipal Paint Management Programs

Letter of Interest
PaintCare welcomes partnerships with household hazardous waste collection programs, transfer stations, retailers and other convenient paint collection sites for the public. To establish a partnership, please begin by completing the following Letter of Interest and submit it to

Municipal Drop-off Site Contract

Once a letter of interest has been submitted to PaintCare, contract negotiations may begin. The following model contract describes the participation requirements and partnership opportunities. PaintCare covers the cost of paint storage bins, paint transportation and recycling, and public outreach and education. There is no monetary compensation for serving as a drop-off site; however, compensation may be negotiated for additional services provided beyond serving as a drop-off site (see Attachment C of the contract for a list of services). If you have any question about the model contract, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3683 or by email at

In partnership with the California Product Stewardship Council PaintCare held a series of webinars in 2012 for municipal agencies. The webinars covered how household hazardous waste facilities, transfer stations, landfills, public works yards, ABOPs (Recycle-only facilities) and other non- retail sites can become PaintCare drop-off sites. To view presentations and Questions & Answers from these webinars, please go to PaintCare Webinars. Additional webinars will be held in the Fall of 2012. Updates will be posted here.

Recycling Rare …

Recycling Rare Earth Metals: What Does China Know That We Don’t?

Posted by June Stoyer

What Are They & Why Do They Matter?

Rare earth metals are actually not rare in and of themselves but tend to be present with other compounds in very small quantities. Rare earth metals are used for a myriad of reasons including electronics, fuel cells, fiber optics, magnets, CRT’s and LCD’s, as well as their extensive use in green technology.

Most new plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will use lithium-ion batteries (above) rather than the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in most hybrid electric vehicles.
(photo credit: /

Here is a more detailed list. (source:

  • Rechargeable batteries (in camcorders), cell phones, PDAs, laptop
  • Computers and other portable devices.
  • Wind turbines, drinking water filters, petrochemical catalysts,
  • Polishing powders, hydrogen storage, fluorescent lighting, flat panels,
  • Color televisions, glass, ceramics and automotive catalysts.
  • Fiberoptics, dental and surgical lasers, MRI systems, as medical
  • Contrast agents, in medical isotopes and in positron emission
  • Tomography scintillation detectors.
  • Magnetic refrigeration
  • Rechargeable batteries used in hybrid vehicles
  • Permanent magnets
  • Military application

China Raises Rare-Earth Export Quota

According to an article in the Wall St. Journal, by James T. Areddy and Chuin-Wei Yap

“China’s government eased its restrictions on rare-earth exports for the first time since 2005 in an apparent nod to a trade fight over Beijing’s tight global grip on production of the strategically important minerals.

But industry executives said the move will do little to shake China’s dominance of a market crucial to industries as diverse as oil refining, electric vehicles and ballistic missiles.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday that it will permit 2.7% more volume of rare earth—30,996 metric tons—to leave the country this year than it did in 2011. The increase follows a number of tighter limits imposed …”

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

Americans continue to toss out materials that utilize rare earth metals. China profits from our waste by recycling them. They are refurbishes, repurposed and sold right back to the American market at a huge profit. At what point will Americans recognize the potential in this waste?

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

According to a research by Dr. Peter Dent from Electron Energy Corp., The total world market size for rare-earth magnetic materials was:

  • $9.1 billion in 2007 and is projected to grow to
  • $12 billion in 2011 and to
  • $21 billion by 2020