Tools to transition to Product Stewardship/EPR
- Adopt a local EPR resolution
- Announce to producers of throw-away products that your municipality is phasing out rate-payer and tax-payer financed management of their wastes. Producers will be expected to finance and/or and manage it themselves.
- Use disposal bans to drive products into recycling and EPR programs
- Help recycling programs be effective by eliminating the easy disposal options that compete for the products.
- Nurture recycling through smart zoning and business licensing
- Recognize recycling and reuse businesses as the mirror image of retail businesses. Make sure in-store product take-back is exempt from unnecessary regulation and that clean recycling businesses are not restricted from commercial areas by zoning rules.
- Adopt local take-back laws where feasible
- Where local authority and conditions permit, consider requiring take-back of hard-to-recycle products as a condition for sale in the jurisdiction.
- Lobby senior levels of government for EPR legislation
- Only senior governments can create a level playing field so that all brand-owners for a particular product category are subject to the same stewardship responsibilities.
Service Provider Role
- Develop an exit strategy for product waste management
- Phase out public management of waste products and packaging as EPR programs take over this responsibility.
- Focus on organics (food scraps and yard trimmings)
- Encourage development of services to provide recycling for yard trimmings and food scraps as part of the community waste system.
- Take a new approach to waste characterization
- Survey current waste quantities and management costs by product category rather than by material type.
- Develop financing strategies for Zero Waste
- Anticipate a shift from disposal fees to recycling fees, and ultimately to local government not providing recycling at all.
- Specify take-back in purchasing
- Implement environmentally preferable purchasing with product take-back specifications.
Education & Advocacy Role
- Join or start a state-wide local government-led Product Stewardship Council
- Local governments speaking with one voice are the criticasl missing ingredient for changing how waste is managed — and ultimately how products are designed! Start or join a local government Council to work towards state-wide EPR Framework polices. Start by passing local EPR resolutions. There’s lot’s more.