- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Grocers Association, and National Retail Federation have all expressed concerns regarding the EPA's new waste management regulations regarding unsold products and pharmaceuticals.
- The referred rules are: The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule, which allows businesses that produce small amounts of toxic waste to avoid strict regulations; and The Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, which sets regulations for how healthcare facilities and pharmacies handle hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.
- These retailers claim that new rules could limit their ability to recycle or reuse products. "The suggested frameworks fall short of easing the burden on retailers who want to manage unsold products in a more sustainable fashion, rather than discarding potentially useful or recyclable items," said RILA Vice President of Compliance Sue Pifer in a press release.
When these new rules were introduced by the EPA on Aug. 31, 2015, the EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus explained that they would provide businesses with the flexibility needed to operate in today's marketplace.
"The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards," said Stanislaus in a 2015 statement.
However, the businesses for which the rules were implemented do not feel that they're being offer the correct guidelines for proper disposal and potential recycling of such waste products.
"The Retail Associations again emphasize in their comments that most unsold consumer products and pharmaceuticals are not 'wastes,' due to the fact that many are suitable for re-shelving, donation, recycling, liquidation or shipment back to vendors for credit," explained Pifer.