What is producer responsibility?

Producer responsibility means that manufacturers – not government or taxpayers – take responsibility for their products from “cradle to cradle.”  This includes providing and paying for the collection and recycling of the products they make when those products are discarded.

The goal of producer responsibility – also called “extended producer responsibility” or “product stewardship” – is to minimize environmental and health impacts throughout all stages of the product’s lifecycle. Producers design greener products and take them back for responsible recycling when they are discarded.

Producer responsibility is a private sector solution.  Manufacturers pay for recycling the products they make as a cost of doing business.  The product price already reflects many costs in addition to production, such as costs for marketing, worker protections, and environmental requirements. With producer responsibility, the cost of recycling is included too.

Others will also have roles and responsibilities in a successful producer responsibility program.

  • Consumers return their unwanted products into the program.
  • Retailers, charities, haulers, local governments and others may voluntarily serve as collectors and be paid for their efforts.
  • Processors recycle the products.
  • Local governments help promote the program and the State government provides oversight and enforcement.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 August 2010 12:30)