Extended Producer Responsibility

Updated Guidance for Efficient Waste Management

image of Extended Producer Responsibility

This report updates the 2001 Guidance Manual for Governments on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which provided a broad overview of the key issues, general considerations, and the potential benefits and costs associated with producer responsibility for managing the waste generated by their products put on the market. Since then, EPR policies to help improve recycling and reduce landfilling have been widely adopted in most OECD countries; product coverage has been expanded in key sectors such as packaging, electronics, batteries and vehicles; and EPR schemes are spreading in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America, making it relevant to address the differing policy contexts in developing countries.


In light of all of the changes in the broader global context, this updated review of the guidelines looks at some of the new design and implementation challenges and opportunities of EPR policies, takes into account recent efforts undertaken by governments to better assess the cost and environmental effectiveness of EPR and its overall impact on the market, and addresses some of the specific issues in emerging market economies.

English Also available in: French

Extended producer responsibility and the informal sector

This chapter examines the role that the informal sector plays in extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems in middle-income countries. It is intended to supplement the 2001 OECD guidance manual on EPR which had focused on EPRs in OECD countries and which did not examine the role of the informal sector in any depth. The main findings of the chapter are that while there are serious concerns about downstream informal dismantling and recycling which can generate negative economic and environmental impacts, the potentially positive contribution of informal waste collection and sorting activities is increasingly recognised. As a result, the policy objective has shifted from “rescuing” to integrating informal workers into formal waste management systems. Recent experience also shows that failure to doing so can seriously undermine EPR systems.

English Also available in: French

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