Organizations Agree on Definitions for Key Terms in Growing Movement for Manufacturer Responsibility for Discarded Products
A movement to shift responsibility for
spent products and packaging from taxpayers to the producers who
design, make and sell them is growing both among leading
corporations and state and local governments in the United States.
Dozens of new industry programs and state laws to reduce the life
cycle impacts of products and packaging have been initiated or
adopted in the last decade. The terms, "product stewardship"
and "extended producer responsibility" have been used in various
ways to describe these activities.
To allow for healthy public discussion,
three leading organizations in the product stewardship field
recently agreed on a consistent set of definitions.
The Product Stewardship Institute,
the Product Policy Institute, and
the California Product Stewardship Council
spent over a year harmonizing concepts and soliciting input from
stakeholders from business, government, and public interest
organizations across North America. The resulting definitions
are consistent with international definitions, but also reflect the
progress that has been made in the past decade since the product
stewardship movement took off in the U.S. The definitions
have been endorsed so far by 48 businesses, stewardship
organizations, government agencies, and non-profit
The new definitions replace previous
definitions used in the United States over the past decade.
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Source: April 2012, Product Policy Institute, Accessed on
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