Producer responsibility laws cover a range of laws related to products – particularly as they relate to a key environmental principle known as Polluter Pays. This principle is at the heart of many environmental laws across the world as it states that in any polluting event, the person(s) responsible for the pollution should pay for the costs of dealing with that pollution. Since pollution takes many forms, not just smog or oil spills, this principle affects many areas of law and many businesses.
Producer responsibility laws are aimed at making sure that those making a profit from goods and services (the producers) bear the costs of ensuring their goods and services do not harm the environment. This is especially important in the case of goods that will become waste as very often the consumers (users) of those goods have little say as to how the goods are made, transported or disposed of.