Consumer Products Containing Lithium-Ion Batteries
This data is pulled from over 40k consumer products sold today in the US at the top retailers and big box stores. Product vendors are required to register all products with SmarterX before they can hit store shelves - so that the retailer knows how to safely store, ship and dispose of it. SmarterX identifies and analyzes the detailed chemical makeup of all components of consumer products, and has APIs that cross-check these ingredient details against all state and local regulations - as well as retailer-specific rules.
While outdoor recreation equipment is the largest concern right now for consumer safety and regulatory changes, countless other product categories contain lithium-ion batteries and could be impacted. It’s also critical that consumers and retailers understand what types of products contain these batteries - so they can handle them safely (for both people and the environment). In fact, home appliances account for over 10% of all products containing these batteries - and kids toys & games also represent nearly 3%.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Boosting Collaboration: Supplier Insights for Retailers
In the dynamic retail landscape, a symbiotic relationship between retailers and suppliers is crucial for success. We surveyed suppliers across the country to better understand their key concerns, pain points, and aspirations when it comes to this collaboration. Let's delve into the findings and discover how retailers can better understand and support their supplier and vendor partners (in their regulatory compliance process and beyond):
1. Phthalates and SLS: A Focal Point
Suppliers are expressing mild concerns about the impact of ingredients like phthalates and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) on their ability to sell products through retailers. These ingredient types can limit their market access due to regulatory requirements and consumer preferences that inform things like Restricted Substances Lists. Retailers should be aware of these concerns and work collaboratively with suppliers to proactively communicate about any restrictions around these ingredients, and help them navigate them while maintaining product quality and standards.
2. Transparency on Demand Drives Retailer-Supplier Relations
While ease of collaboration with third-party platforms remains important, transparency around demand emerges as a paramount concern for suppliers in their relationships with retailers. Retailers who can provide clearer and ongoing insights into demand trends and forecasts will create an environment of trust and alignment. This understanding enhances decision-making and streamlines the supply chain.
3. The Complexity of the Classification Process
Suppliers expressed their wish for retailers to better comprehend the complexities of the product classification process. The time and effort spent on uploading data to multiple platforms, coupled with the challenge of dealing with one-dimensional data, contribute to inefficiencies and increased costs for suppliers across the board. Retailers can make a significant impact by working closely with their classification partners to streamline data sharing, optimize lead times, and provide easier guidelines and steps for getting through the classification process.
4. Cost (Particularly in Shipping) is a Major Supply Chain Concern
Suppliers highlighted increasing costs, particularly in shipping, as a top supply chain concern. New regulations affecting shipping and general inflation have led to rising expenses. The unpredictability of these changes amplifies suppliers' worries. Furthermore, the anticipation of regulatory changes and retailers' proactive adaptation to these changes is a key point of anxiety for suppliers. Retailers can provide reassurance by fostering a stable environment, adapting to regulatory shifts, and working collaboratively to manage costs.
Quality, for us, means providing the best – ingredients, formulation, and performance – in each and every one of our products
5. Recognizing Suppliers' Expertise and Standards
A prevailing sentiment among suppliers is the desire for retailers to understand their high-quality standards, in-depth product knowledge, and expertise in navigating regulations. Suppliers invest substantial time and effort in formulating their products and complying with industry guidelines. Acknowledging this expertise not only strengthens the retailer-supplier relationship but also promotes a shared commitment to delivering exceptional products to consumers.
By addressing concerns such as ingredient limitations, transparency, data complexities, supply chain costs, and recognizing supplier expertise, retailers can pave the way for more collaborative, efficient, and mutually beneficial partnerships. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, nurturing these relationships becomes a cornerstone of success for all stakeholders involved. For a more detailed look into the survey findings, reach out to us at email@example.com