As the Product Policy Institute explains, manufactured products are fundamental to wealth and quality of life in modern economies. However, the scale of material and energy flows associated with products has grown to the point that it is not sustainable. Product life-cycle impacts during extraction, processing, use and disposal of toxic and nontoxic materials are linked to most major environmental problems, from habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity to global warming.
Product brand-owners are interested in decisions related to product design, while end-of-life management is typically the responsibility of local governments that have no say in design. State and federal policies often subsidize inefficiency, while many local governments inappropriately assume responsibility for end-of-life product management. As a result, consumers lack accurate information in prices and elsewhere about the real costs of products.
The Product Policy Institute is a not-for-profit research and communication organization founded in 2003 to address this challenge of sustainable production and consumption
by seeking out innovative thinkers and experts from business, government, academic and NGO communities to chart a new relationship between government and business in the service of achieving sustainable life styles. The dialogue builds on a core of shared values: that government has a duty to protect public assets (variously called the ‘commons’ and ‘public trust’); that government is needed to define and enforce performance standards in the public interest; but then government should give industry the freedom to do what industry does best — innovate to achieve the desired outcomes."
Via: (Product Policy Institute)