Product Stewardship & Sustainability: In Alignment or Conflict – Informed Decision Making and Insights

intermediate | Monday | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

As manufacturers, retailers, and end-users seek to decrease solid waste generation and increase recycling /re-purposing of products at end of life, necessary and surprising tensions arise between stewardship and sustainability objectives. In this session, case studies will address intended and unintended impacts of “greener product designs,” ingredient substitutions and use of recycled content in food-contact packaging, counter top surfaces; molded plastic pallets; reprocessing post-consumer containers into new containers; “preservative-free” products, and compostable packaging. Stewardship assessments of re-processing and of end-use impact will be reviewed along with regulatory hurdles encountered – including suitable purity & product safety assessments, ingredient transparency, GMP, TSCA, and marketing claims.

Jonathan Hellerstein, CIH, CSP, Senior Lead Global Product Stewardship, MeadWestvaco
Gavin Thompson, PhD, Principal, ENVIRON International Corporation

Learning Objectives:

  1. Appreciate how diversion of a waste material can trigger potential regulatory implications and prepare to deal with these requirements appropriately.
  2. Understand how to examine re-purposing proposals for waste materials so as to identify safety/stewardship issues early in the development of the sustainability program.
  3. Start discussions with organizational leaders and customers to address, consider and balance stewardship and sustainability initiatives to optimize outcomes.

Related Article:


When is it appropriate to use recycled content in a product or its packaging? Customer expectations play an important role, along with the product’s purpose. Product stewards can help business managers and executives to make informed decisions about when and how to use recycled content in products placed on the market. READ MORE