PSI works to develop and promote legislation and voluntary initiatives whereby manufacturers are responsible for recycling or safely disposing of their products once consumers are done with them. This is a concept known as producer responsibility. When manufacturers are responsible for managing their products at end-of-life, they are often motivated to make environmentally beneficial design changes that render the products more sustainable throughout their lifecycle. This act of making products more sustainable—of ensuring that they have minimal impacts on health, safety, and the environment across their lifecycle—is what we call product stewardship.
in 2000, PSI takes a unique product stewardship approach to solving
waste management problems by encouraging product design changes,
mediating stakeholder dialogues, and advocating for producer
responsibility, in which manufacturers fund and manage the recycling
and/or safe disposal of their own products post-consumer use. PSI has
developed more model producer responsibility bills and product
stewardship programs than any other organization in the country, and has
assisted in passing the greatest number of producer responsibility
laws. Our work spans an ever-growing number of industry sectors,
including electronics, batteries, paint, packaging, thermostats,
lighting, pharmaceuticals, medical sharps, mattresses, pesticides,
carpet, phone books, gas cylinders, radioactive devices, and tires.
the core of PSI’s work is a collaborative approach that brings together
both the public and private sectors to develop product stewardship
solutions jointly. Forty-seven state environmental agencies, along with
hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, are active
members of PSI. We have also established partnerships with nearly 100
corporations, businesses, academic institutions, non-U.S. governments,
and environmental organizations. We conduct research on critical waste
management issues, facilitate meetings and technical workgroups between
the public and private sectors, and forge multi-stakeholder agreements
that often lead to actionable product stewardship policies and programs. We
also conduct pilot projects and provide strategic advice to both
government and industry.
other organization in the U.S. is as active on such a wide array of
product sectors as PSI. This experience gives PSI a unique ability to
understand the similarities, differences, and nuances between product
sectors, which proves invaluable when creating and implementing
materials management solutions.
At PSI, we envision a society in which consumer product manufacturers take primary responsibility for the environmental, health, economic, and social impacts of their products all across their lifecycle—particularly at the end of a product’s intended usefulness. When manufacturers commit to designing, manufacturing, and managing their products in environmentally responsible ways, products will become less toxic and more reusable and recyclable. Additionally, taxpayers and state and local governments will be relieved of the financial and operational burdens of materials collection and management.
PSI strives to achieve the following financial, social, and environmental goals with every initiative we undertake:
- Reduce waste, increase product reuse, and boost recycling rates while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and the use of toxic chemicals;
- Minimize waste management costs, particularly for taxpayers and government agencies; and
- Create safe and desirable recycling and resource management jobs.