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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.

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Governance issues and extended producer responsibility

This chapter begins with a discussion of why government is involved in EPR systemsThe term “EPR systems” is used in this document to refer to the laws, policies, governance structures, and the ensemble of organisations and operations involved in EPR in a given jurisdiction. It includes government agencies, and the EPR chain, i.e. collectors, processors, end use industries, producer responsibility organisations, and clearinghouses. “EPR schemes” is intended to be a narrow term, referring to entities in the EPR chain, especially producer responsibility organisations (PROs). that, on first glance, are intended to lessen the role of the public sector in end-of-life management. Four typical governance structures are then presented and their advantages and disadvantages discussed. The role and status of producer responsibility organizations (PROs) are characterized and the debate over non-profit versus for-profit status for PROs is discussed. From there, the chapter looks at governance functions in EPR and their allocation among different stakeholders, as well as the resources needed for government participation in EPR systems.

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