Product Stewardship – Completing The Circle of Responsibility
One of the things that have become extremely important whenever we talk about the current state of the world is the need for companies to start taking more responsibility for their actions regarding the environment.
This area is by far the most critical when it comes to developing efficiencies and practices that will contribute to shrinking carbon footprints to help reduce toxic emissions that are approaching critical mass in the atmosphere.
As a result, phrases like Product Stewardship, Extended Producer Responsibility, and Original Equipment Manufacturer are becoming more and more a part of our ‘Green’ vocabulary.
These are all phrases used to promote the idea that responsibility for a product’s design, manufacture, use, and end-of-life or recycling solutions must ultimately extend to everyone involved in the life cycle of that product.
Undisturbed, Mother Nature has no difficulty with these recycling concepts. For example, plants are grown in the soil and returned to the soil and new vegetation is created. It is seamless and unless it is somehow interfered with, the process has no resistance.
Human beings, on the other hand, continue to struggle with the idea that the products we develop must be created with a plan in mind to deal with them properly after they have passed their useful life.
Responsible Manufacturing All About ‘Thinking It Through’.
Making sure a product is responsibly manufactured is really just a matter of engineering in reverse and requires the same type of Research and Development that would be employed at the front end when products are designed and Product Stewardship manufactured.
Around the world, there is legislation being initiated to try and level the playing field for manufacturers.
Some of it is clumsy but it is intended to ensure that products are safer, more responsible, and more recyclable. And it is gaining traction.
Companies are working hard to get their message out around these new concepts of stewardship and producer responsibility.
In A World of Diminishing Resources, Practicality Is King
In manufacturing, as in nature, there is a balance to be struck.
We don’t want to stifle innovation by raising barriers to entry in terms of the cost of creating new products. But the simple fact is, however, as we continue to deplete traditional supplies of non-renewable resources in a world of expanding demand, the ability to recover resources and reuse them should be incentive enough to look at this problem in a practical way.
To find out more about product stewardship in Ontario, and how manufacturers and consumers alike can make a difference, visit https://stewardshipontario.ca/
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