Living Products are designed to minimize the continued extraction of virgin fossil-fuel based inputs, decrease existing global waste and maximize the usage of natural, bio-based and carbon sequestering materials. Manufacturers must demonstrate intentional selection of materials that confer positive impacts throughout the full life cycle of the product.
Inputs to Living Products should aim to have a positive impact from sourcing to the end of the product’s life. Manufacturers must evaluate all material used in the product and prioritize the use of rapidly renewable, bio-based and carbon sequestering materials or non-toxic recycled or waste inputs whenever they have an overall better health and environmental performance based on toxicological and life cycle impacts.
The product must be designed so that its durability, warranty and useful lifespan have a direct relationship to its environmental impact and embodied energy. Disposable or single-use products do not qualify unless 100% of the product contents are biodegradable within five years or are made from a material that is compostable or readily recycled within the country of intended use.
Responsible End of Life:
The product, including its packaging, should be designed to consider its impacts at the end of its useful life as a functioning product. This means it must meet one of the following requirements:
- Completely compostable within five years.
- Able to be 100% recycled.
- Have a manufacturer take-back program available in the market where the products are sold.
Additionally, the product’s packaging must not contain single-use plastic20 and must not pose a hazard to marine, bird or animal life.
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