The Latest in CPG Regulations: August 2023
Recent regulatory changes, specifically the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) guidance for hand sanitizers and the new hazardous waste regulations in California, are sparking changes across the industry. Here are a few key takeaways and guidance on how to chart these regulatory waters.
It's important to stay vigilant in understanding and complying with these regulatory changes. But remember -- we're here to chart these waters with you and for you. Reach out to our team at any time with questions at email@example.com
Understanding RCRA and Hand Sanitizers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its stance on the RCRA industrial ethyl alcohol exemption as it relates to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The previous interpretation treated unused alcohol-based hand sanitizer as regulated hazardous waste but this is now likely to change, with the EPA allowing generators of unused alcohol-based hand sanitizer to consider energy recovery as a disposal path.
- In the wake of possible changes, retailers should confirm their disposal practices comply with TTB and EPA regulations. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations apply to recycling of industrial ethyl alcohol. Therefore, retailers should make sure their disposal partners abide by these rules. If unused alcohol-based hand sanitizer is being recycled then the generator must comply with the RCRA legitimacy factors in 40 CFR 260.43.
- For suppliers, make sure to evaluate your disposal process. Unless you are managing unused alcohol-based hand sanitizer as RCRA regulated hazardous waste, the material must be treated as a valuable commodity when it is under your control. Additionally, you should ensure that your waste hauler understands whether the material is hazardous waste or intended for reclamation. The latest EPA interpretation, published May 5 2023, allows generators of unused alcohol-based hand sanitizer to consider energy recovery. Reclaimed ethanol can be used as a fuel or fuel additive and can be burned for energy recovery within the U.S., as long as all applicable TTB regulations and RCRA legitimacy factors are complied with throughout the reclamation process.
Navigating California’s New Hazardous Waste Regulations
In response to California Senate Bill 158, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will now be developing new Hazardous Waste Management Reports and Plans every three years. The bill's primary goals are to establish a baseline understanding of hazardous waste management, identify data gaps, and make plans to fill these gaps.
- With this process change in mind, retailers should take the time to engage with it. You have the opportunity to provide input during the planning process, which may be a valuable chance to express any concerns or potential impacts to business operations. Also, stay updated! Keep abreast of legislative updates, especially regarding potential changes in waste management hierarchy, as it could affect the strategies to reduce hazardous waste generation.
- For suppliers, take the time to align your operations. The new regulations emphasize waste reduction, recycling, and treatment before disposal. Suppliers must ensure their operations align with this hierarchy. Also, participate in and prioritize data collection. As the DTSC seeks to fill data gaps, suppliers may have the opportunity to contribute meaningful data and potentially influence the direction of future waste management strategies in California. And finally, plan for stricter standards. With less than 19 percent of hazardous waste tracked in California classified as hazardous under federal criteria, expect California's regulations to be stricter. Suppliers should be prepared for more stringent rules and broader scopes of hazardous waste identification.
The Product Intelligence Platform™: The single source of truth for accurate product classification
At SmarterX, we put sustainability into action, especially when it comes to classifying consumer products.
Inaccurate, slow and error-prone classification methods leave:
- Retailers with uncertainty about store level product compliance
- Stakeholders vulnerable to regulatory fines and supply chain delays
- Shipping companies and regulated waste haulers with logistical dilemmas
A platform for peace of mind
The Product Intelligence Platform™️ is a secure, cloud-based database linking our retail partners and brands to fast and accurate regulatory product classifications.
The Product Intelligence Platform™️ is the place where products are classified. It's a platform for retailers and brand manufacturers to collaborate. Retailers can manage all their hazardous and regulated products. Brands have an easy, frictionless way to share their product data. The result: retailers and brands can make decisions using accurate product data.
We recently completed registration for all regulated products for a major retailer with 2,200+ stores. Products registered shot up over 30% in the past 3 months to meet the retailer's registration deadline.
"The registration process was very easy. I didn’t expect our products to be reviewed and approved so quickly - and yet they were. I am very happy with the Product Intelligence Platform!” - Edward Ro, Pureboost
Our Product Intelligence Platform™️ is at the heart of delivering impressive results in three key areas:
1) Accurate product classifications
Brands register their products by entering a few details to get the most accurate product classifications, without revealing confidential information.
2) Instant regulatory and compliance decisions
With the Back of Store System (BOSS), retailers get waste codes, transportation regulations and disposal classifications for every product on their shelves.
3) Detailed EHS reports and insights
Through Tableau dashboards and tracking of EHS/ESG metrics, retailers and brands can access a comprehensive suite of reporting and insights.
With our platform, registering products is simple. Brands can register products one-by-one, or in bulk. Check out our step-by-step product registration guide.
Data from the source
We collect a vast amount of data on everyday consumer products. Currently, we are in the process of registering the entire catalog (3,600+ products) of the world’s largest consumer goods company.
- We only collect product information from trusted sources to make sure we have the most accurate data.
- We only ask for information we need. Full product formulation and proprietary data is likely not required for accurate classification.
- We fill in the gaps with additional product data from trusted sources like SmartLabel, 1WorldSync or Salsify.
Mind your Rs and Cs: Classifications translated into Regulation and Compliance
We are the first to take a computational approach to product classifications. We use machine learning, computational chemistry and regulatory AI to marry our millions of product data points with over 7,000 rules and regulations, some of which are listed below:
A Real Leaders Eco Innovation Award Winner
The Product Intelligence Platform™️ has been recognized by Real Leaders as a Top 50 winner in the 2022 Real Leaders® Eco Innovation Awards, a distinction that celebrates innovative environmental solutions for the greater good.
The Product Intelligence Platform™ is being used by over 1,600 brand manufacturers who supply some of the biggest US supermarket chains and one of the world’s largest warehouse clubs.
Placing product intelligence in the hands of retailers and brands, our Product Intelligence Platform™ is the platform you can trust.
The do's and dont's of selling TVs, computers, printers and other electronics
The do's and don'ts of selling TVs, computers, printers and other electronics
What are the state-level rules for compliantly selling consumer electronics?
As the consumption of consumer electronics increases and the obligations to handle electronics in a safe and sustainable way becomes more and more important, it’s essential that retailers and manufacturers know their obligations and understand the proactive ways they can be good corporate citizens.
Here are three questions electronics retailers and manufacturers should seek to answer:
1. What are the state-level regulations that apply to Covered Electronic Devices (CED) today?
2. How does the price of a TV affect which regulations apply?
3. Which states have obscure rules for CEDs?
Failing to comply with selling requirements could result in being placed on a “Do Not Sell” list and the issuance of fines.
Demand for consumer electronics is going up and up and so are the risks if retailers make mistakes with selling, shipping, returns, recycling, and donations?
US sales of electronic devices are staggering. In 2021, we spent a whopping $442 billion. That’s $1,440 for every person. Over the next five years, the industry expects a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% globally.
While demand for electronic devices increases, retailers and manufacturers are also under pressure to deliver products as efficiently and sustainably as possible. There are many hurdles to overcome - most notably, regulatory hurdles. Every phase of the consumer electronic supply chain is regulated, from equipment manufacture, to transportation, to selling in the store, to how the product must be disposed of when no longer needed.
The early 2000s yielded a flurry of electronic device legislation in the United States. But regulations haven’t kept up with product innovation. This has left manufacturers, retailers and handlers of electronic devices struggling to interpret older regulations and apply them to new products hitting the market.
For example, there are no federal regulations for how TVs, computers, monitors, computer peripherals, and printers should be sold, handled and disposed of. That said, half of US states have implemented their own regulations for electronics covering these devices, known formally as “Covered Electronic Devices (CEDs)”.
It’s imperative for manufacturers and retailers to understand state requirements, and each state’s requirements differ slightly. For example, in South Carolina, TVs that are sold for less than $100 are exempt from the CED requirements. While in Pennsylvania, manufacturers who only make computer peripherals (and no other device type) are exempt from requirements. Companies have needed to stay on top of regulations, including local nuances, to avoid being fined for shipping or disposing of products in the wrong way.
This is where Smarter Sorting comes to the rescue. We know the rules. We also know the individual makeup of millions of consumer products. We can accurately identify the right product classification, instantly.
In our State-level Requirements for Selling Covered Electronic Devices white paper, we examine all applicable requirements for selling CEDs and break down how manufacturers and retailers can confidently navigate the complex regulatory environment in order to get products to consumers, quickly and efficiently.