What is extended producer responsibility (EPR)


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What is extended producer responsibility (EPR)

  1. 1. www.pecb.org What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Millions tons of waste is generated each year worldwide. The main sources include domestic and industrial wastes. All the products we encounter in our daily lives will eventually require disposal; either consumables or non- consumables. Even items such as foods, medical and personal care items, office supplies, household cleaners, after being consumed, produce wastes that are packaging material such as containers, packs, bottles and jars. Because they have higher levels of consumption, developed countries, in comparison to developing countries, produce more waste per capita. As world population continues to increase, so does the global waste production. This incessant increase in quantities of waste, and especially inappropriate disposal is a major threat which contributes to serious environmental problems such as water and air pollution! Many countries around the world have recognized the need to address these environmental problems and have launched new approaches for solving them. One of these environmental protection initiatives includes the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)? The term was first introduced in the early 90s, but its importance has been highlighted during the last decade. It was intended primarily to provide incentives for manufacturers to design products that are more reusable and recyclable. Nowadays, EPR has been increasingly applied as a policy approach, and aims to reduce waste production and decrease the total environmental impact of a product by making the manufacturer responsible for the entire life-cycle of the product. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as an environmental protection strategy in which a manufacturer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. This strategy has moved producer’s traditional responsibility for its product beyond the factory gates, and has made them accountable for the proper disposal of the products they sell. It holds manufacturers responsible for the take-back, recycling and disposal of the products that consumers no longer want. EPR policies and practices urge the producers to redesign their products by considering the environmental impacts, to incorporate the waste management costs into the price of their products and enhance product reusability and recyclability. EPR programs may take the form of a reuse, buy-back, or recycling program. Products types covered by EPR programs includes tires, batteries, oil products, packaging materials (paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, etc.), beverage containers (bottles, cans), electronic and electric equipment, mercury containing devices, paint, etc. Now different variations of EPR programs have been implemented around the world; at provincial and national levels. While some countries strive to meet EPR objectives by developing regulatory frameworks, others have chosen voluntary agreement between businesses. In EPR regulations, the government sets requirements to which producers must comply with. Most of European countries have already extended producer responsibility for packaging, batteries and electronic and electric equipment through implementation of EU Directives. However, in the United States, EPR programs have a nature of voluntary and elective government programs rather than being a regulatory requirement. Similar programs are applied in Canada, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. 2
  3. 3. PECB (Professional Evaluation and Certification Board) is a certification body for persons for a wide range of professional standards. Besides many others, it also offers ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) training and certification services for professionals who want to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the main processes of an EMS; project managers or consultants wanting to prepare and support an organization in the implementation of an EMS; auditors who want to perform and lead EMS certification audits; and staff involved in the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard. ISO 14001 and Environment Trainings offered by PECB: • Certified Green IT Professional (2 days) • Certified ISO 14001 Lead Implementer (5 days) • Certified ISO 14001 Lead Auditor (5 days) • Certified ISO 14001 Foundation (2 days) • ISO 14001 Introduction (1 day) ISO 14001 Lead Auditor, ISO 14001 Lead Implementer and ISO 14001 Master are certification schemes accredited by ANSI ISO/IEC 17024. Narta Voca is the Heath, Safety and Environment (HSE) Product Manager at PECB. She is in charge of developing and maintaining training courses related to HSE. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact her at hse@pecb.org For further information, please visit www.pecb.org/en/training 3