Extended Producer Responsibility

What is EPR?    

Extended Producer Responsibility is a concept where manufacturers and importers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle, including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from manufacturers’ production process itself, and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products.  Producers accept their responsibility when designing their products to minimise life-cycle environmental impacts, and when accepting legal, physical or socio-economic responsibility for environmental impacts that cannot be eliminated by design. 

Project Objectives  The OECD project on EPR takes a focused look at ways to minimise the  municipal waste stream by reducing or ending the traditional local-government  subsidy, while transferring substantial or complete financial responsibility to  private sector enterprises for managing their products also at the post-consumer  phase. The main product of this project was the Guidance manual for  Governments that was published in 2001. The expected outputs in 2005-2006   are the “Analytical Framework for the Evaluation of Costs and Benefits of  EPR”  and the “Influence of EPR Scheme on Products Design (DfE)”. Both  outputs were originally scheduled for 2004.