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PSI Discusses Product Stewardship

Organization(s) Product Stewardship Institute
Project Description State environmental officials around the country are taking a new approach to managing wastes that calls on product manufacturers to work with government officials and other stakeholders to take joint responsibility for reducing the health and environmental impacts from consumer products. "Product Stewardship," as it is called, extends over a product's life cycle, and strives to reduce impacts on air, water, energy, waste, and worker safety. One of the main principles of product stewardship is that government policies should provide incentives to manufacturers to design their products to be reusable, recyclable, made from recycled materials, and include fewer toxic and other materials. In December 2000, at the invitation of Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Bob Durand, over 100 government officials from over 19 state environmental agencies, 7 EPA regions, and over half a dozen local governments came to Boston to discuss the need to take a product stewardship approach to waste management issues. The two-day forum was coordinated by the newly created Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), a national organization formed as a joint initiative between the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the University of Massachusetts. The primary mission of the Institute is to assist state and local government agencies in establishing cooperative agreements with industry and work to reduce the health and environmental impacts from consumer products. The forum highlighted the top five products of concern to waste management officials - electronics, mercury-containing products, pesticides, paint, and carpet. Since that time, PSI has coordinated over 20 state environmental agencies that are now participating in a dialogue with the electronics industry that aims to produce a voluntary negotiated agreement in lieu of regulatory and statutory action. A separate dialogue with carpet manufacturers spearheaded by the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance has also been underway since the spring of 2000.

Project Contact
Name Scott Cassel
Phone 978-934-4855
Project Keywords
Activity Keywords Conference, Research and development
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 11 No. 2, Summer 2001


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