What is Extended Producer Responsibility?
It means that producers are responsible for their products after they wear
out. By having a plan, worn-out products can be reused, repaired, thrown away
or recycled in the best and most efficient way possible, thereby reducing
what gets disposed of in the landfill.
Are there other benefits? Yes, ERP reduces the burden on our local government’s
waste management programs. This is especially important for hazardous materials
such as batteries, fluorescent lamps and paint because these are expensive
What does this mean? This means savings to ratepayers. This is not a small
issue. In fact, the Zero Waste Sonoma spends over $90,000
PER MONTH to manage products banned from landfill disposal. This amount
can be reduced with take-back programs.
But that’s not all! Another benefit of EPR is that producers include waste
in their bottom line. In other words, it helps producers to be more aware
of the cost and difficulty of waste management. This awareness leads to
better designs and systems for efficient handling. This benefits everybody,
including the environment.
Simple things you can do to support Extended Producer Responsibility:
- Look for products that have less packaging or recyclable packaging.
- Support companies that offer recycling or take-back programs for the products they sell.
- Ask manufacturers to produce items with less packaging, and ask them to create take-back programs if their product is hard to recycle.
Legislation that supports Extended Producer Responsibility:
20 (2003) Established a funding system for the collection and
recycling of certain electronic wastes.
2901 (2004) Requires retailers selling cell phone take-back used
cell phones for recycling.
1125 (2005) Requires retailers of rechargeable batteries take-back
spent rechargeables from their customers.
1860 (2008) Ensures
that manufacturers, who illegally sold products that get recalled,
must pay and properly manage those products.
2347 (2008) The Mercury Thermostat Collection Act ensured that as
of July 1, 2009, mercury thermostat manufacturers must conduct public
education and establish a free take-back system statewide for mercury
- AB 1343 (2010) Requires manufacturers to fund and manage recycling programs for used paints. It goes into effect in 2012.
- AB 2398 (2010)
Establishes the country’s first industry-financed carpet recycling
program. The law, which goes into effect July, 2011, will require
manufacturers to pay 5 cents per square yard of carpet sold in the
state. The money will be used by each manufacturer, either individually
or through a group, to implement a plan with the state to recover
The California Product Stewardship Council’s
mission is to shift California’s product waste management system from
one focused on government-funded and rate payer-financed waste diversion
to one that relies on producer responsibility in order to reduce public
costs and drive improvements in product design that promote