SACRAMENTO, CA - California is the second state in the United States to have a paint management program financed and operated by the private sector. The program, PaintCare, is administered via a product stewardship non-profit organization run by paint manufacturers. It is estimated that the program will save local governments millions each year.

California Assembly member Jared Huffman commented, "This cost represents the single-largest cost to local governments in the household hazardous waste system. This signified a great need for a convenient recycling program that is cost effective and reduces the financial burden on local governments and protects the environment. I'm pleased this historic legislation will help bring our local governments some relief from a very costly problem.” The legislation had broad support.

California is the second state in the United States to pass producer-responsibility legislation for paint. Product stewardship, otherwise known as extended producer responsibility (EPR), is a policy approach that shifts the responsibility for waste management costs from taxpayers and ratepayers to include manufacturers, retailers and ultimately the users of these products, consumers.

“Taxpayers and garbage ratepayers have hit their limit and are ready for private-sector solutions that are good for the environment and the economy," said Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council. "We have been working collaboratively with ACA (American Coatings Association) on a project funded by CalRecycle that has established a public education campaign and 20 retail collection locations for paint so we could ‘work out the kinks’ and help PaintCare roll out this program if the bill became law. We hope we have found a collaborative solution that not only reduces costs but makes recycling leftover paint more convenient for consumers.”

The California law is based on a model state bill that first passed in Oregon in July 2009. The model is the result of a national agreement facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute Inc. (PSI), which convened paint manufacturers, retailers, contractors, recyclers and government officials to jointly develop an environmentally sound and economically efficient solution to the leftover paint problem.