States with the most Producer Responsibility laws

Extended Producer Responsibliity graphic

If you’re not familiar with the phrase Extended Producer Responsibility, it’s time to learn.

EPR is the larger picture of what’s necessary and what’s possible going well beyond recycling. It requires manufacturers to be accountable for the products they produce – its complete life cycle from beginning to its final and responsible disposal. It’s a way to dramatically reduce what goes into our landfills and increase the amount of waste that gets recycled and/or reused.

There’s a great article on this by . In it he says that 81 state EPR laws passed in the United States, counting all 50 states, along with nine local EPR laws.

EPR by State graphic

California – my home state – is a leader in environmental regulations. So it’s not surprising that it’s also the leader in producer responsibility, with the most EPR laws in the country. These include regulations for battery take-backs (2006); carpet (2010); cell phones (2004); green chemistry (2008); mattresses (2013); paint (2010); pesticide containers (2008); and mercury filled thermostats (2008). Much of this regulation has been spearheaded by the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC).

While many manufacturers have traditionally resisted both the idea and practice of take back programs, with increased consumer demand for businesses incorporating sustainable business practices, that trend is turning and green is becoming the new normal. It’s a case of dollars driving the market and consumers really do get to win.


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