The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) was formed in 1992 to promote the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. This model legislation was originally drafted by the Source Reduction Council of CONEG in 1989. It was developed in an effort to reduce the amount of heavy metals in packaging and packaging components that are sold or distributed throughout the United States.
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Specifically, the law is designed to phase out the use and presence of mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in packaging within four years in states that enact the legislation.
Since packaging comprises approximately one-third of the waste stream, it is hoped that this legislation will curb the amount of heavy metals entering the municipal solid waste stream and, ultimately, landfills and incinerators. A reduced contribution of these metals to the waste stream will gradually lower their harmful presence in the environment.
The Clearinghouse includes a states-only voting membership and an industry/public interest advisory group. The legislation has been successfully adopted by nineteen states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Other states, as well as the U.S. Congress, have also considered the legislation.
TPCH is located at the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) in Brattleboro, Vermont. NERC manages and performs all administrative functions for the Clearinghouse on behalf of member states.