VPIRG report shows need for Consumer Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes over enforcement of all major U.S. consumer laws July 21st. The agency was created in the wake of the Wall Street scandals that led to the Great Recession, and is tasked with protecting consumers from predatory lending and financial traps. Unfortunately, Wall Street banks have asked their friends in Congress to hamstring the agency by denying it a director. Now a new VPIRG report shows why we need this agency.

Vermont’s E-waste Recycling Program

On Friday, July 1st, Vermont’s new electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program will begin, providing free and convenient recycling of e-waste to Vermont residents, charities, schools, and small businesses. The recycling program, known as “Vermont E-Cycles”, was created by a VPIRG-backed law passed by legislators last year requiring manufacturers of electronics to finance the cost of collecting and recycling their discarded products. This type of “producer responsibility” program not only eases the financial burden carried by municipalities, but it also provides a powerful incentive for manufacturers to design their electronics to last longer and to exclude the toxic materials that make recycling so difficult and expensive.

S. 34 Mercury Lamps Fact Sheet

A guide to the Mercury Lamps Bill (S.34). S.34 would require manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish a free and convenient recycling program for fluorescent bulbs. By financing the cost of recycling their products, manufacturers will have a powerful incentive to design their lamps to last longer and to exclude the toxic materials, including mercury, that make recycling so difficult and expensive.

Important vote on mercury lamp recycling

The benefits of fluorescent bulbs in terms of energy efficiency are tremendous, and VPIRG supports their continued use. However, fluorescent bulbs also contain mercury, a known neurotoxin that can build up in our bodies and the environment. As the demand for energy efficient lighting increases, it’s imperative that Vermont have an effective recycling infrastructure in place.

Kicking off the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill website

We are proud to launch our new website for our campaign to build on the Bottle Bill’s enormous success and not only protect the Bottle Bill, but to update it to include beverage containers such as water bottles, juice containers, and sports drinks. As we move through the legislative session, we will be adding all the new developments here to this blog as they occur. Keep an eye out for what is happening in the State House and the ways you can get involved.

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