In recent years, legislatures across the world have turned their attention to the escalating amount of electronic and electrical waste, and their accompanying environmental threats. Increasing consumption of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) and the indiscriminate disposal of used products contribute to the problem furthered by designs that ignore durability and support the limitless use of toxic substances. One proposed method of changing this trend is to stimulate producers to design for the environment (DFE). In many ways DFE breaks the traditional physical barriers for design and requires a vision of the product for its entire life cycle.

As Canada's provincial and federal governments move to respond to the problem of e-waste, their chosen approaches are critically analysed. In particular, this article investigates how the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario conceptualize the problem of e-waste. In addition, the extent to which the policy goals and financing mechanisms incorporated in each programme adequately consider the role of DFE is evaluated.