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Product Stewardship

Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW) promotes the principles of Product Stewardship to shift how products are managed in Wisconsin's communities at the end of their useful lives.  By working together, producers, consumers and government can achieve sustainable solutions.

"Product Stewardship is a product-centered approach to environmental protection that calls on those in the product life cycle - designers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers - to assume primary responsibility for minimizing the product's environmental impact through all stages of the product's life cycle and for paying the costs of managing the product at the end of its useful life."  

AROW Product Stewardship Policy

Our Priorities

  • What is Product Stewardship?
    The act of minimizing health, safety, environmental and social impacts, and maximizing economic benefits of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages. 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 (PS) or required by law (EPR).
  • What is Extended Producer Responsibility?
    EPR is a mandatory type of product stewardship that includes, at a minimum, the requirement that the producer's responsibility for their product extends to post-consumer management of that product and its packaging. Two features of EPR policy: 1. Shifting financial and management responsibility, with government oversight, upstream to the producer and away from the public sector. 2. Providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.
  • What is a Circular Economy?
    A circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles: 1. Design out waste and pollution 2. Keep products and materials in use 3. Regenerate natural systems

AROW believes product stewardship can minimize the product's life-cycle environmental impact by:

  1.  improving the design and manufacture of products and their packaging to facilitate           their reuse, recycling, or recovery and

  2.  establishing programs to collect, process and reuse, recycle or recover products             and their packaging when they are discarded.

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