- A proposed Illinois bill would prevent accrediting organizations from penalizing e-scrap companies that send CRT glass to landfill storage cells—a process that is currently legal under state law. The legislation would also mean companies would no longer need accreditation to use storage cells.
- Currently, R2 prohibits storage cells in this scenario, while e-Stewards sanctions the practice as a "conditionally allowable option." Both are e-scrap environmental and safety certifications.
- Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), which administers the R2 standard, is asking Illinois R2-certified e-scrap recycling companies to sign an online petition of protest. Both Jim Puckett of Seattle-based Basel Action Network (BAN), who created the e-Stewards certification, and John Lingelbach of SERI told Resource Recycling that if Illinois favors storage cells for CRT, the state should just pass a law requiring the practice.
The big question is, can a state dictate certification rules to voluntary business associations and prevent them from doling out consequences for members that chose not to meet the criteria? Puckett said the answer is no.
"As written this rule would appear to violate our basic rights of speech and association and moreover would attempt to do so outside of its own jurisdiction," he said to Resource Recycling.
An email circulating the online petition states, "This bill sets a disastrous precedent for allowing legislators in all 50 states, as well as lawmakers in other countries with R2-certified companies to create their own versions of the R2 standard...To put it bluntly, if passed, this bill would be the beginning of the end of the R2 standard."
Meanwhile, a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study concluded both certification programs are improving "the responsible management of used electronics in the United States" at a time that the federal government has been called on to influence responsible handling of wasted electronics.
The legislation has been presented to the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate, with a House committee voting to push the bill forward.