EPA emphasizes extended product responsibility (vs. producer responsibility) that taps the ingenuity and responsibilities of businesses, customers, government, and others. Its Web site contains many examples of extended product responsibility for specific products (carpets, electronics, and packaging). Each product section has information on government initiatives, business initiatives, resources, legislation, and organizations.
The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is a group of businesses, governments and non-profits working together to integrate product stewardship into the policy and economic structures of the Pacific Northwest.
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University, Sweden
This Institute has published several papers on extended producer responsibility and has been one of the leading institutions defining EPR.
Bette Fishbein of INFORM Inc., a nonprofit environmental research organization, has studied EPR extensively. See her publications:
- “EPR: What Does It Mean? Where Is It Headed?”
- Extended Producer Responsibility: A Materials Policy for the 21st Century
- Industry Program to Collect Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) Batteries
- Germany, Garbage, and Green Dot: Challenging the Throwaway Society
The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) is a North American network of recycling and community-based activists who advocate policies and practices to achieve zero waste, to end corporate welfare for wasting, and to create sustainable jobs from discards. Its Producer Responsibility Web site includes:
- A model resolution local governments can pass encouraging extended producer responsibility,
- The Carrboro, NC Producer Responsibility Resolution (September 1998)
- and Articles on EPR such as Beverly Thorpe and Iza Kruszewska’s (Clean Production Action) article, Strategies to Promote Clean Production & Extended Producer Responsibility.
The Container Recycling Institute is a non-profit research and public education organization studying container packaging recycling and reuse. It is a clearinghouse for information on beverage container deposit systems and bottle bills in the U.S. and Canada.
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. The goal is to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements.
Raymond Communications provides news, analysis, and forecasting on recycling laws in the U.S. and abroad. Its State Recycling Laws Update reports on regulations in the U.S. Its Recycling Laws International looks at laws in Europe and Asia including producer responsibility initiatives for packaging and a wide range of materials. This Web site also contains a Legislative Web sites page, which is a state-by-state guide to links to state legislation.
See ILSR’s article by Neil Seldman, Extended Producer Responsibility: The Next Phase of the U.S. Recycling Movement (PDF format). This article reviews Raymond Communications’ Take It Back! Pacific Rim Conference, held February 28-March 1, 2000 in Los Angeles.
This workshop was sponsored by the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (It was held at The White House Conference Center, Washington, DC, Oct. 21-22, 1996.) These proceedings include presentations on the concept of and strategies for EPR as well as 11 case studies of companies implementing extended product responsibility. Industry sectors represented include the automobile, forest products, consumer products, building cleaning and maintenance, plastics, telecommunications, office equipment, battery, and carpet industries.
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, Product Stewardship information
Minnesota is one state that has imposed manufacturer responsibility for products such as lead-acid batteries and nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries. This article reviews the definition of product stewardship, the MN Office of Environmental Assistance’s product stewardship policy and efforts, and case studies of businesses in MN pursuing product stewardship initiatives.
Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (United Kingdom)
This UK non-profit researches the environmental and social effects of packaging and aims to minimize these impacts.
This 1998 book by John Gertakis at the National Centre for Design at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology features case studies of how manufacturers are avoiding waste and recycling resources through product take back.
Centre for Sustainable Design (United Kingdom)
This organization facilitates discussion and research about eco-design and environmental, economic, ethical, and social considerations in product and service development and design. The Centre acts as a clearinghouse for innovative thinking on sustainable products and services.