A Better Way

A Better Way: Producer Responsibility 

Requiring manufacturers to pay for the collection and recycling of their products encourages them to design products that are less toxic, more durable and more recyclable. Producer Responsibility makes our wastestream cyclical.  It allows flexibility for manufacturers to decide how best to implement the recycling programs given their individual business models and products, and creates an even playing field for them to do so.

Who benefits from Producer Responsibility?

Businesses             

  • Products designed with EPR in mind have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Taxpayers                         

  • The role of government is significantly reduced, which translates directly into savings for taxpayers.

Job Seekers                       

  • As more products are managed by manufactueres, new markets for recycling are created, stimulating small business growth and green creation.

The Environment                                                                                                                                  

  • When less toxic products are made, there is less to clean up later.  When more products are recycled, or when they are designed to last longer, less trash has to be buried or burned.
  • Producer responsibility makes our waste stream cyclical. It allows flexibility for manufacturers to decide how best to implement the recycling programs given their individual business models and products, and creates an even playing field for them to do so.

The New Business as Usual

Producer responsibility is happening all over the world, so industries have already made many of the changes we are seeking in the US.  Here, 33 states have passed 72 EPR laws, covering products such as electronic waste, paint, carpet, and light bulbs.  Rhode Island has three such laws (for e-waste, thermostats, and auto switches), but now we're ready to tackle one of the biggest sources of pollution in the state: packaging.

 Action Steps

  1. Write a letter to your State Representative and State Senator asking them to support producer responsibility laws for Rhode Island.
  2. Write a letter to your editor. Be sure to add the reasons why producer responsibility is important to YOU. 

To get more involved, contact Clean Water Action in Providence at (401) 331-6972 

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