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Product Stewardship (Archived, No Longer Updated): Principles of Product Stewardship
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Reasons for Product Stewardship
Types and Examples of Product Stewardship
Principles of Product Stewardship
Case Studies and Examples
Where to Go for P2 Help
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

Environment Canada's EPR Guidance Manual for Governments
Several helpful guidance manuals for governments on EPR issues and benefits and on the actions requi...

Product Stewardship Institute
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) works with state and local government agencies to partner wi...

The Product Policy Institute
Resources including numerous articles on EPR and sample legislation language and case studies for lo...

The following Principles of Product Stewardship have been developed by the Product Stewardship Institute to support state and local agencies in promoting product stewardship and developing voluntary agreements with industry and environmental groups to reduce the health and environmental impacts from consumer products.

  • Responsibility

    The responsibility for reducing product impacts should be shared among industry (designers, manufacturers, and retailers of products or product components), government, and consumers. The greater the ability an entity has to minimize a product's life-cycle impacts, the greater is its degree of responsibility, and opportunity, for addressing those impacts.

  • Internalize Costs

    All product lifecycle costs - from using resources, to reducing health and environmental impacts throughout the production process, to managing products at the end-of-life - should be included in the total product cost. The environmental costs of product manufacture, use, and disposal should be minimized, to the greatest extent possible, for local and state governments, and ultimately shifted to the manufacturers and consumers of products. Manufacturers should thus have a direct financial incentive to redesign their products to reduce these costs.

  • Incentives for Cleaner Products and Sustainable Management Practices

    Policies that promote and implement product stewardship principles should create incentives for the manufacturer to design and produce "cleaner" products - ones made using less energy, materials, and toxics, and which result in less waste (through reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting) and use less energy to operate. These policies should also create incentives for the development of a sustainable and environmentally-sound system to collect, reuse, and recycle products at the end of their lives.

  • Flexible Management Strategies

    Those that are responsible for reducing the health and environmental impacts of products should have flexibility in determining how to most effectively address those impacts. The performance of responsible parties shall be measured by the achievement of goal-oriented results.

  • Roles and Relationships

    Industry should provide leadership in realizing these principles. Government will provide leadership in promoting the practices of product stewardship through procurement, technical assistance, program evaluation, education, market development, agency coordination, and by addressing regulatory barriers and, where necessary, providing regulatory incentives and disincentives. Industry and government shall provide - and consumers should take full advantage of - information needed to make responsible environmental purchasing, reuse, recycling, and disposal decisions.


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Hub Last Updated: 9/27/2012