San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Producer Responsibility

What is producer responsiblity?

Producer Responsibility is a policy approach in which manufacturers are required to take an active role in developing and funding collection, recycling, and disposal programs for their products at the end of the product's useful life. Producer Responsibility policies shift the costs and management of product discards from local governments and refuse ratepayers to manufacturers and consumers, thereby incentivizing product redesign and consumer responsibility to minimize environmental impact.

State Policy

Because consumer product supply chains often spread beyond the boundaries of our city, San Francisco believes that holding producers more responsible is most effectively done at the state level. That's why we play an active role in supporting California producer responsibility policies. In fact, San Francisco has adopted three producer responsibility resolutions urging the State to create a framework for future policies and to hold producers more responsible for their products at the end of life, as well as urging the use of producer responsibility principles to prevent marine debris.

Local Policy

Locally, San Francisco has adopted some Producer Responsibility policies including:

We also have a robust environmentally preferable purchasing program (SF Approved List) which, among other things, requires vendors who sell to the City and County of San Francisco, through inclusion of language in City contracts, to take back their products or packaging for recycling.

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