Product Replacement Program
Washington state’s Product Replacement Program is an innovative, results-based approach that reduces toxic chemicals and heavy metals in the environment. The Product Replacement Program works with local Pollution Prevention Assistance partners to help businesses reduce their use of toxic chemicals.
The Product Replacement Program has spearheaded groundbreaking work to remove the very worst chemicals from consumer products and commerce. Historically, regulatory efforts to control pollution focused on issues “downstream.” The main focus was on how to manage waste, tailpipes, sewer pipes, or smokestacks. State agencies targeted their efforts at reducing emissions or cleaning up spills. However, the Product Replacement Program recognizes that the smartest, healthiest, and most cost-effective approach to decreasing pollution is to move “upstream” and prevent the use of toxic chemicals in the first place.
Small but widespread releases of toxic chemicals found in consumer products and used by Washington state businesses pose one of the greatest threats to public health, the environment, and the economy.
In July 2019, things changed; the Washington State Legislature funded the innovative Product Replacement Program for the 2019–2021 biennium. This program replaces toxic chemicals in select consumer products or technologies before they get into the environment, which is the best way to prevent environmental contamination, protect water quality, save tax dollars, and reduce human health risks. To do this, the Legislature allocated $3.7 million in the 2019–2021 biennium for action on five product replacement initiatives:
Using Product Replacement Program funding, we are working with local fire departments and other first responders to collect and safely dispose of PFAS-containing foam. We cover the costs associated with the collection, transport, and disposal of that foam.
The recreational foam replacement program provides reimbursement to businesses like schools, gyms, and recreational facilities for replacing foam blocks used in open foam pits. These types of foam can contain flame retardants which can have negative impacts on people's health.
Facilities that use solvent-based degreasers can apply for reimbursement to switch to safer degreasers. Solvent-based degreasers many contain chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment. We’re offering to reimburse up to $10,000 for those businesses that make the switch.