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1.2 Why is product stewardship important?

When companies assume end-of-life financial responsibility for the management of their packaging and paper products, they are more inclined to reduce the amount of material they use and to choose materials their consumers can easily recycle. In response to consumer demand, many businesses are investing resources to improve the environmental profiles of their products and businesses.

In the larger context, businesses look at the environmental impact of their products across the entire life cycle.

This includes everything from raw materials sourcing practices, manufacturing methods, how product is transported to market, and how to prevent spoilage while in transit. The end-of-life disposal of the packaging, while an important element of environmental management and highly visible to the consumer, comprises just one component of the product life cycle and is one of many ways businesses are taking responsibility for the stewardship of their products from inception, to supply, to disposal, and, potentially, as part of a circular economy.

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