Product stewardship is the act of minimizing the health and environmental impacts of a product and its packaging throughout its life cycle. NRCM works hard to support a product stewardship policy approach called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which are laws that require product manufacturers to share in the responsibility of the safe collection and recycling or disposal of their products and packaging. When manufacturers take responsibility for establishing and funding recycling programs, they have an incentive to design greener, safer products that are less wasteful, more recyclable, and contain fewer toxins. EPR programs also save money for municipalities by shifting the costs of collection programs from the taxpayers to the producers and consumers.
Products that contain hazardous toxic chemicals are especially problematic, such as mercury-containing thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, rechargeable batteries, computer monitors, and other electronics. Toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead can be released into the air if these products are burned in incinerators, or can leach into soil and drinking water if buried in landfills. Product stewardship and EPR laws are the best solution for managing toxic products like these. In short, these laws protect Maine’s air, land, water, wildlife, and people from toxic chemicals, save taxpayer dollars, and encourage sustainable products.
Thanks to NRCM’s leadership on this important issue, Maine has one of the most comprehensive sets of product stewardship laws in the nation, and we are committed to the continued success of each of these important programs.
Learn more about Maine’s Product Stewardship laws by clicking on the links below:
- Mercury-containing Products: Thermostats, Auto Switches, and Compact Fluorescent Lights
- Electronic Waste
- Cell Phones
- Paint Recycling
- Maine’s Bottle Bill
- Battery Recycling
Also be sure to check out the “Related Resources” section below for access to other important documents.