Latest on Local Takeback, Past Year Overview and 2016 Preview

Dec. 7, 2015

2015 has seen a new dynamic in the extended producer responsibility (EPR) takeback fights throughout the state. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the judicial decision in favor of Alameda County and its controversial first-in-the-nation drug take-back law, the floodgates have opened. Emboldened EPR proponents have broadened their fight around California, expanded the language, and passed local ordinances in multiple Counties.

In March, the City and County of San Francisco became the first domino in a chain reaction wherein Bay Area Counties—San Mateo (April), Santa Clara (June), and Marin (Aug.)—quickly and unanimously passed takeback legislation. Additionally, a regional joint powers authority in San Luis Obispo County endorsed its own version, the County of Santa Cruz passed a version including sharps in Dec., Alameda County upgraded their ordinance to include sharps in Nov., and several other Counties held hearings and directed staff to research the issue. This was most notable in the state’s largest County—Los Angeles—home of more than 10 million people.

Following months of stakeholder hearings, Los Angeles County produced its own draft legislation for both drug and sharps takeback.  CLSA has taken the lead in bringing together all segments of our membership to coordinate efforts. Amid ongoing advocacy efforts, CLSA joined numerous other associations in submitting formal letters of opposition in Nov. An updated legislative draft is expected in Jan. before the County presents it to their Board of Supervisors in early Feb. 2016.

Beyond the upcoming fight in Los Angeles, California will see takeback legislative proposals in a growing list of Counties around the state in 2016. The Counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Contra Costa have each been looking into the issue formally. Cities are also getting into the action by passing resolutions encouraging takeback. At their most recent national meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution advocating for EPR.

CLSA continues to advocate the industry’s perspective on these matters County by County. For questions, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Associate Director of Government Relations (