Product stewardship is not new in our state. For example, if you have had to replace an old vehicle battery that couldn't make it through another Minnesota winter, you participated in product stewardship for sealed-lead-acid batteries. When you bought your new battery for your car or truck, you probably brought back your old one and received a five-dollar credit. Batteries contain lead (a heavy metal that is harmful to human health and the environment). That old battery is then sent away by the retailer to be disassembled. The components are used to produce new sealed-lead-acid batteries. The seller, manufacturer, wholesaler, and you, the customer, are all involved in making sure that your battery did not contaminate the environment.
In Minnesota, the product stewardship approach has resulted in a number of programs for specific products in the state.
Minnesota research and engagement has been important for a number of other products and sectors, including beverage containers, telephone directories, compact fluorescent lamps, and carpeting. Minnesota's interest in product stewardship has been influential in the region and around the United States.