Product stewardship is an environmental management strategy in which all parties involved in the design, production, sale and use of a product take responsibility for minimizing the product’s environmental impact throughout all stages of the product’s life. The greatest responsibility lies with whoever has the most ability to affect the life cycle environmental impacts of the product.
DEQ supports product stewardship principles and the product stewardship approach as a way to:
- reduce overall environmental impacts from the manufacture, use and disposal of products;
- increase reuse and recycling;
- reduce toxics and waste generation;
- shift the cost of managing waste products at the end of their useful life from government to those who produce and use the products.
Recommendations for Product Stewardship in Oregon
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The Oregon Bottle Bill is an early example of product stewardship-type program that work differently from the product stewardship programs we are developing today.
The Oregon E-Cycles Program, created by the 2007 Oregon Legislature, is an example of a product stewardship program. Oregon E-Cycles provides Oregonians with convenient, free recycling of televisions, computers and monitors. It is funded and operated by electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Oregon.
A DEQ implemented rebate program for contractors designed to increase mercury thermostat recycling rates through the Thermostat Recycling Corporation.
Oregon has become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring paint manufacturers to safely manage leftover latex and oil-based paint from consumer and contractor painting jobs.