Product Substitution


prod sub 3_crProduct substitution is the replacement of one product with a safer, less polluting alternative. The goal of product substitution is to maintain or improve functionality while reducing the adverse environmental and human health effects associated with a product’s use. Product substitution may also offer economic benefits by reducing usage, handling, or disposal costs.

To achieve optimum benefits, the impacts of a substitution should be evaluated over the life cycle of the product as a substitution may alleviate one concern but may create new and unforeseen problems in other stages of the life cycle. For example, an alternative product may reduce the release of toxic or hazardous substances during its use, but the manufacturing process may be highly polluting or energy intensive.

Examples of effective product substitutions with stormwater management implications include:

  • Beet juice-based snow and ice melters for road salt
  • Asphalt-based sealant for coal tar-based pavement sealant
  • Organic or phosphorous-free fertilizers for synthetic fertilizers
  • Unleaded gasoline for leaded gasoline
  • Low toxicity alternatives to cleaning products, wood preservatives, and paint products

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