What is Product Stewardship?

Product stewardship is a product-focused approach to protecting our environment. The core principle of product stewardship is that whoever designs, manufactures, sells or uses a product has a role both in managing its end-of-life and in minimizing its impact on the environment.


Our stewards: Committed to the environment, committed to you
Our stewards are the first importers, manufacturers, or brand owners of the packaging or products that end up in curbside blue boxes or that are classified as household hazardous waste. The onus on product stewardship is usually placed on the thousands of stewards who are responsible for the products we use every day. They pay the fees that enable us to reduce the environmental footprint of their packaging and products by collecting, transporting and recycling waste. And they have the greatest ability to address the environmental impact of their products at every stage of the lifecycle, from research, design and selection of materials, to transportation and manufacturing.

Product stewardship: It’s up to all of us

But product stewardship is everyone’s business.  Retailers can choose to work only with those providers who meet certain benchmarks for environmental performance. Many retailers work with us to take back products for recycling. As consumers, it’s our responsibility to ensure the products we no longer need are recycled or disposed of in ways that have the least impact on our environment. You can make a difference in your community by following recycling guidelines, filling your blue box, and ensuring that you bring your hazardous leftovers and containers to a drop-off location where they can be handled with the care they deserve.

Planning today…for a greener tomorrow

Like it or not, we are all part of a voracious consumer culture. Keeping recyclables out of landfill reduces the need to create new landfill sites. Reusing these recycled materials consumes less energy than creating these products from raw material. Many products become toxic at the end of their lifecycle. By committing to responsibly recycle these products, and by doing our part and returning them to collection sites, we can help ensure our future is sustainable for generations to come.