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ISRI Design for Recycling®

Begun more than 30 years ago, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, (ISRI) Design for Recycling® initiative encourages manufacturers to consider the ultimate destiny of their products during the design-stage of a product’s development.

Design for Recycling® Principles

ISRI believes that the following principles should be applied.

  1. Making Consumer Products Recyclable
    Manufacturers must ensure that consumer products can be safely and economically recycled, using existing recycling technology and methods, when removed from service. Recyclers of consumer products should not have to incur unnecessary costs due to the use of hazardous constituents in the products. Unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, consumer products should be recyclable without creating risks to human health or the environment from hazardous constituents.

  2. Reducing Environmental Risks From Consumer Products
    All newly manufactured durable consumer products should have demonstrated recyclability.  In most cases, if a product is found to present environmental risks that make it uneconomical to recycle the product, it should not be sold without design or manufacturing changes that will remove those risks.

  3. Controlling Special Environmental Problems
    Some products may not be capable of being redesigned so as to eliminate risk to the recycler.  For example, for some applications, there may be no feasible substitute for a hazardous constituent in the product. In these cases, there should be new cooperative arrangements between manufacturers and recyclers to ensure recycling, and recyclers should be relieved of the resulting risks of environmental liability.

  4. Assistance to Manufacturers of Consumer Durables
    Manufacturers who are required to alter the design or manufacture of their products should receive transitional assistance, when appropriate. Small business, in particular, should be afforded economic and technical assistance in ensuring their products’ safe recyclability.  Manufacturers should not be asked to bear all the costs of Design for Recycling®, any more than recyclers should be required to continue to bear all the environmental risks of recycling in that absence of appropriate product design.  Design for Recycling® will benefit all of society, and it is therefore fitting that society assist manufacturers in its implementation.

2018 Award Presentation

2017 Award Presentation

Design for Recycling® Award

DfR-Award-2016_smThe Design for Recycling® Award is ISRI’s highest award that is offered annually to the most outstanding contribution to products designed with recycling in mind.  It recognizes the proactive steps made by manufacturers who have actively incorporated Design for Recycling® principles into their products and manufacturing processes.

Previous Award Winners


Nestlé Waters North America

Dell Inc.

EcoStrate SFS Inc.

Samsung Electronics

LG Electronics, Inc.


Dell Inc.

No award presented.

Cascades Fine Papers Group

Wind Simplicity

Coca-Cola Recycling Company

The Herman Miller Company

No award presented.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Hewlett Packard

Have Questions?

David L. Wagger
Director of Environmental Management
(202) 662-8533