One of the most effective strategies to prevent waste in the first place is to craft the design and manufacture of consumer products to minimize waste and environmental impact during every stage of the product's life cycle: production, use, and end-of-life. By placing more responsibility on the entities with the greatest opportunities to minimize environmental impacts, environmental sustainability for consumer products can most effectively and efficiently be achieved.
Product Stewardship (PS) is the act of minimizing the health, safety, environmental, and social impacts of a product and its packaging throughout all life cycle stages, while also maximizing economic benefits. The producer of the product has the greatest ability to minimize adverse impacts, but other stakeholders, such as suppliers, retailers, and consumers, also play a role. Stewardship can be either voluntary or required by law.
Vermont's Product Stewardship Programs
Vermont has five product stewardship programs, which are required by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation and ensure that convenient and environmentally sound recycling options exist for the specified materials. More information on these programs is available via the links at the top of this page.
Vermont's Extended Producer Responsibility Laws
The following EPR laws have been passed in Vermont:
- Certain Dry-Cell Batteries: Act 95– effective beginning 1992
- Automobile Switches: Act 117– effective July 1, 2006
- Mercury Thermostats: Act 149– effective July 1, 2008
- Electronic Waste: Act 79 – effective January 1, 2011.
- Mercury Lamps: Act 36– effective May 19, 2011
- Architectural Paint: Act 58– effective December 1, 2013
- Primary Batteries: Act 139– effective January 1, 2016