Definition of Key Terms

Product Stewardship: Product Stewardship is an environmental management strategy that means whoever designs, produces, sells, or uses a product takes responsibility for minimizing the product's environmental impact throughout all stages of the product's life cycle, including end of life management. The greatest responsibility lies with whoever has the most ability to affect the full life cycle environmental impacts of the product. This is most often the producer of the product, though all within the product chain of commerce have roles.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – There are varying definitions for this term. The Organisaton for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines EPR as

“an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. An EPR policy is characterised by: (1) the shifting of responsibility (physically and/or economically; fully or partially) upstream toward the producer and away from municipalities; and (2) the provision of incentives to producers to take into account environmental considerations when designing their products. While other policy instruments tend to target a single point in the chain, EPR seeks to integrate signals related to the environmental characteristics of products and production processes throughout the product chain.”

The Product Stewardship Institute, Product Policy Institute, the California Product Stewardship Council and others define EPR as

“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. There are two related features of EPR policy: (1) shifting financial and management responsibility, with government oversight, upstream to the producer and away from the public sector; and (2) providing incentives to producers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.”

Producer or Manufacturer – The definition for this term varies depending on the products it is referencing. For a general understanding of this term, the definitions are provided for different products that have legislated product stewardship PROGRAMS.

For computers, monitors and TVs in Oregon,

(5) 'Manufacturer' means a person that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of remote sale:

  (a) Produces covered electronic devices under its own brand for sale in this state;

  (b) Sells in this state covered electronic devices produced by other suppliers under its own brand;

  (c) Assembles covered electronic devices, with parts produced by others, for sale in this state under the assembler's brand;

  (d) Imports or exports covered electronic devices to the United States for sale in this state, except that if a company from which an importer purchases the covered electronic devices has a presence or assets in the United States, that company shall be deemed to be the manufacturer; or

  (e) Manufactures or supplies covered electronic devices to any person within a distribution network that includes wholesalers or retailers in this state, for the sale in this state of those covered electronic devices through that distribution network.

For computers, monitors and TVs in Washington State, a Manufacturer is defined as:

(14) "Manufacturer" means any person, in business or no longer in business but having a successor in interest, who, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance or remote sale:

(a) Manufactures or has manufactured a covered electronic product 30 under its own brand names for sale in or into this state;

(b) Assembles or has assembled a covered electronic product that uses parts manufactured by others for sale in or into this state under the assembler's brand names;

(c) Resells or has resold in or into this state under its own brand names a covered electronic product produced by other suppliers, including retail establishments that sell covered electronic products  under their own brand names;

(d) Manufactures or manufactured a cobranded product for sale in or into this state that carries the name of both the manufacturer and a retailer;

 (e) Imports or has imported a covered electronic product into the United States that is sold in or into this state.    However, if the imported covered electronic product is manufactured by any person with a presence in the United States meeting the criteria of manufacturer under (a) through (d) of this subsection, that person is the manufacturer.   For purposes of this subsection, "presence" means any person that performs activities conducted under the standards established for interstate commerce under the commerce clause of the United States Constitution; or

(f) Sells at retail a covered electronic product acquired from an importer that is the manufacturer as described in (e) of this subsection, and elects to register in lieu of the importer as the manufacturer for those products.

For paint in Oregon a Producer is defined as:

(6) “Producer” means a person that manufactures architectural paint that is sold or offered for sale in this state.

For carpet in California:

(j) "Manufacturer" means, with regard to a carpet that is sold, offered for sale, or distributed in the state any of the following:

   (1) The person who manufactures the carpet and who sells, offers for sale, or distributes that carpet in the state under that person's own name or brand.

   (2) If there is no person who sells, offers for sale, or distributes the carpet in the state under the person's own name or brand, the manufacturer of the carpet is the owner or licensee of a trademark or brand under which the carpet is sold or distributed in the state, whether or not the trademark is registered.

   (3) If there is no person who is a manufacturer of the carpet for the purpose of paragraphs (1) and (2), the manufacturer of that carpet is the person who imports the carpet into the state for sale or distribution.

Stewardship Organization (SO) - This term is used to describe a not-for-profit corporation or organization that is appointed by a producer to act as an agent on behalf of the producer to administer a product stewardship program. This may also be referred to as a Third Party Organization (TPO) or Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO).