EaP GREEN: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) - The French Experience


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The presentation discusses the French practices related to extended producer responsibility schemes. It was delivered at the meeting on "Economic instruments for greener products in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia" (EaP GREEN).

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  • Producers choose between collective schemes and individual schemes to fulfil their obligations.
    The caracteristics of the WEEE industry from private household:
    In practice, producers for households equipment take part in one of the four collective schemes and producers of professional equipment built individual schemes :
    Producers pay to the collective schemes a financial contribution,
    They provide the governance of those schemes
    AND they transfer to them requirements collection and waste management.
    Those eco-organization are for a maximal 6 years duration approved by the french administration.
    Since 2006, 4 collective schemes have been approved :
    - Ecologic / Eco-Systèmes / ERP-Recycling / Recylum
  • EaP GREEN: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) - The French Experience

    1. 1. www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Crédit photo : Arnaud Bouissou/MEDDTL Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) The French experience Economic Instruments for Greener Products in Eastern Partnership Countries OECD, 7 March 2014
    2. 2. 20/02/14 2 Key principles and rules • EPR: producers (product makers or importers) are in charge of managing waste from their products • French law specifies which categories of products fall under an EPR obligation • For these categories producers must set up individual or collective schemes Each producer pays a financial contribution to the collective scheme, depending on the volume of products marketed Collective schemes (PROs – Producer Responsibility Organisations) are: • Not-for-profit private companies • Set up and governed by producers themselves • Approved by the French Government for periods up to 6 years
    3. 3. 20/02/14 3 14 EPR schemes in France  Typically 1 single collective scheme for each waste flow  Generally household waste, but some professional too  4 new schemes launched in 2012 and currently getting operational
    4. 4. 20/02/14 4 Two models of operation • ‘Financial’ scheme – municipalities remain in charge e.g. household packaging; graphic papers • ‘Organisational’ scheme – producers directly in charge e.g. WEEE; batteries and accumulators; tyres Collective scheme Producer Municipality Waste management company € € € Waste management company Collective scheme Producer € €
    5. 5. 20/02/14 5 Participative governance • Specific terms of reference for collective schemes – Re-negotiated every 6 years among all stakeholders • Government approval for periods up to 6 years – Collective schemes commit to abide by the terms of reference • Dialogue remains intense during these 6-year periods – Meetings every 3 months – mutual information, troubleshooting Producers Municipalities Waste management operators NGOs (Environmental, consumers) Government
    6. 6. 20/02/14 6 Growing financial flows • ~1.4 bn€ collected by 2015 • Of which ~700 M€ redistributed to municipalities • (Total costs for municipal waste management: ~9.4 bn€)
    7. 7. 20/02/14 7 Key questions and challenges ahead
    8. 8. 20/02/14 8 EPR schemes… and municipalities • Who bears the costs? (in ‘financial schemes’)  Municipalities demanded the schemes to reduce their costs  But they remain attached to their ‘free administration rights’  What is the balanced ‘cost coverage’? e.g. household packaging: • Where does this take us?  Producers want more ‘operational’ models to optimise costs  Municipalities reluctant – free administration, local employment  Government – positive for public interest, but careful Collective scheme 80% Municipality 20%
    9. 9. 20/02/14 9 • Competition issues • Waste management operators now face a single buyer • Could hamper innovation and ‘biodiversity’ of operators • Collective schemes operate in a central position • A normal consequence of the EPR principle • Also a way to optimise the system and make it more professional • But other stakeholders consider this a ‘distortion of competition’  Regulation is key to bring balance to the system (terms of reference, day-to-day control, sanction when necessary) EPR schemes… and waste management operators
    10. 10. 20/02/14 10 EPR schemes and Government: an efficient policy instrument • Producers really take over – Responsibility is centralised – Brings results! e.g. for collection and reuse/recycling rates – Built-in cost internalisation and optimisation • A versatile tool for the Government… – Of course public control is key – Re-negotiating the ‘terms of reference’ regularly allows a detailed piloting of the system and helps set the bar higher – A tool with environmental, economic, social dimensions (but which requires focus!) • Dialogue per se takes us foward
    11. 11. www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr Ministère de l'Écologie, du Développement durable, et de l'Energie Thank you for your attention