Product stewardship is the act of minimizing the health, safety, environmental, and social impacts of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages, in turn strengthening the local, regional, and national economy. Manufacturers have the greatest ability to minimize their products’ adverse impacts, but other stakeholders—such as suppliers, retailers, and consumers—also play a role. Stewardship can be either voluntary or required by law.
In your fiscal planning processes, please consider allowing for or requesting an ongoing amount for annual membership with the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). Supporting PSI will ultimately save money for local governments while growing recycling programs for a variety of hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials.
PSI is a national non-profit environmental institute, working with state and local government agencies to partner with manufacturers, retailers, environmental groups, federal agencies, and other key stakeholders to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products, and to share responsibility for end-of-life solutions for those consumer products. PSI has helped many states to successfully propose and adopt product stewardship laws, including the Illinois Electronics Recycling and Reuse Act.
The growing product stewardship movement in the United States seeks to ensure that those who design, manufacture, sell, and use consumer products take responsibility for reducing negative impacts to the economy, environment, public health, and worker safety. These impacts can occur throughout the lifecycle of a product and its packaging, and are associated with energy and materials consumption; waste generation; toxic substances; greenhouse gases; and other air and water emissions. In a product stewardship approach, manufacturers that design products and specify packaging have the greatest ability, and therefore greatest responsibility, to reduce these impacts by attempting to incorporate the full lifecycle costs in the cost of doing business.