Life-cycle responsibility

In a sustainable economy, companies will become more responsible for the long-term life of their products. European nations are already adopting "extended producer responsibility" policies that require vehicle and electronics manufacturers to take back products after consumers are done with them. (Can you imagine returning your old car to Ford to be disassembled and recycled?) By closing the material loop in this way, the manufacturer is more likely to redesign products and eliminate materials that cause environmental harm and financial problems in recycling and disposal.

Now, a conversation about extended producer responsibility (EPR) is starting in North America. The recent Great Lakes Water Quality Forum sponsored by the International Joint Commission had a workshop on EPR that included speakers from European companies and U.S. firms, such as the Interface carpeting company, that have redesigned their products and business practices.

For more information about how the Great Lakes region would benefit from EPR, call Great Lakes United at 716-886-0142.



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