Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Product stewardship is a shared responsibility. While local governments cannot change the design of products to make them easier to manage at the point of discard, they have well-established collection programs and infrastructure. Local governments have valuable waste management expertise. They often have excellent education and outreach programs to inform their residents about their programs. They may have collection and processing facilities. These can all be used in producer-managed and producer-financed product stewardship programs.
Local governments also act as a large consumer themselves, purchasing many of the products that may be covered under an EPR program.
Roles and responsibilities under the CalRecycle EPR Framework
The roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder in a product chain, as envisioned by CalRecycle, are laid out in the EPR Framework (PDF, 106 KB) guidance document.
Generally speaking, local governments would assist producers with designing collection systems, making their collection infrastructure available, and disseminating program information. Local governments would negotiate compensation for services with producers for their participation in a product stewardship program. Local governments would be required to purchase products that are covered under EPR programs, as applicable.
The following action steps will help to further your understanding of EPR as it relates to your own practices:
- Review and familiarize yourself with EPR information on CalRecycle's website:
- Refer to this website for other resources such as examples of policy and law in the United States and worldwide.
- Join the EPR listserv to keep up-to-date on EPR developments at CalRecycle.
- Check into product stewardship and EPR-related organizations that seek to work with State government representatives and other stakeholders in exploring opportunities to maximize the benefits of EPR programs.
- Sponsor resolutions that allow your jurisdiction to write letters in support of EPR.
- Help educate the public about EPR and their roles and responsibilities in any collection activities.
- Participate in the public process that makes our policies and laws. Let decision makers know you support EPR programs.
- Negotiate with producers and other stakeholders when EPR programs are being planned and implemented.
- Adopt purchasing practices that support product stewardship. For examples of purchasing policies, visit the Responsible Purchasing Network website. Many product-specific purchasing guidelines are available at this site. For purchasing information within California, check the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing or Buying Green page.