A study on Integrated Product Policy (IPP), carried out for the European Commission, DG XI, has recently been published. IPP is a relatively new area of environmental policy which adopts a "cradle to grave" approach, looking at the whole life cycle of a product with the aim of reducing environmental impact at every stage. This will require a number of varied policy instruments, applied in an integrated way, and represents a departure from traditional environmental policy which tended to focus on production-related measures and "end-of-pipe" technologies. The study analyses national and international developments in the field of IPP and develops a framework for the potential formulation of a policy initiative in this area. It provides an overview of recent initiatives in selected Member States through a series of case studies and looks at the potential role of the main actors. The study offers a definition of an IPP and identifies five core aspects, made up of specific policy instruments, which taken together would form an IPP. These are: - Measures aimed at reducing and managing wastes generated by the consumption of products; - Measures targeted at the innovation of more environmentally sound products; - Measures to create markets for more environmentally sound products; - Measures for transmitting environmental information along the product chain; - Measures which allocate responsibility for managing the environmental burdens of product systems. The four key roles for the European Commission in this context are also outlined: the definition of a common understanding of IPP, the diffusion of best policy practice, supporting the effective implementation of product policies, and the development of a specific IPP.