California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

CalRecycle Activities

Educational Forums

Visit CalRecycle's EPR Events Web page for currently scheduled meetings, workshops, and other events related to EPR.

Performance Standards

Standards help provide clear direction and a simple means of communicating complex information to all stakeholders. This makes them a powerful tool.

A variety of performance standards may be used in product stewardship programs. They range from standards used to define qualities a material must have to be used in a manufacturing process, product design standards used to design and manufacture products, to standards for safe handling, collection and processing of products and materials in recovery stages. Additionally standards may be developed for reporting and measurement. The types of standards that are beneficial will depend on the product category and program needs.

To the extent feasible, product stewardship programs can refer to existing standards, provided the standards are evaluated and determined to be sufficiently rigorous. This would include product labels conforming to the criteria of ISO 14020 and 14024, the standards for environmental labeling set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the criteria for bonafide ecolabelling bodies of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

Product-Specific Activities

Several programs and initiatives at CalRecycle encompass aspects of producer responsibility. These efforts include environmental performance standards, agreements for take-back, and participation in national dialogues to establish systems for managing product discards.


Evaluate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated With Products (Agenda Item 1). This CalRecycle contract will assist in understanding the potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental, economic, and social benefits of a producer responsibility/stewardship approach to product management. The primary objectives of the project are to:

  • Develop several approaches to analyze products that are scientifically-based and incorporate product life cycle data, along with economic and social impacts;
  •  Prepare case studies for selected products to understand the potential benefits of a product stewardship approach, including changes in GHG emissions and other environmental, economic, and social impacts; and
  • Provide California-specific guidelines for determining if and when a product purchased with recycled content has reduced associated GHG emissions as compared to a similar product made from virgin materials.

 December 15, 2009, California Integrated Waste Management Board Meeting Agenda Item documents:

EPR Home

Last updated: May 2, 2014,
Extended Producer Responsibility and Stewardship
Contact: (916) 341-6449