Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) is a concept under which producers are given a significant responsibility– financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of products post-consumption.
This article will give details about the concept, which candidates appearing for the IAS Exam will find useful.
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Definition of EPR
Extended Producers Responsibility is essentially the use of financial incentives to encourage manufacturers to design environmentally friendly products by making producers accountable for their product management during end-stage consumption. It differs from product stewardship as it relieves the government from the burden of managing certain products by making manufacturers internalize the cost of recycling within the product price. EPR is carried out bearing in mind that brand owners have the greatest control over product design and hence are in a better position to design their products in such a manner that it will reduce harmful effects on the environment as a whole.
Extended Producers Responsibility is done through, reuse, buyback, or recycling. The producer has also the option of delegating this responsibility to a third-party which can be paid by the producer for used-product management. This shifts the responsibility for waste management from the government to private industries, making it easy for producers or sellers to internalise waste management and ensure the safe handling of their products.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of EPR
Like all policy approaches regarding the environment, Extended Product Responsibility has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
They are as follows:
- Producers can be financially incentivized to design more sustainable and environmentally friendly products when facing financial or physical stress of recycling their products.
- Using fewer materials and designing products to last longer can directly reduce producers’ end-of-life costs.
- As EPR policy becomes more mainstream, it puts more pressure on countries that export E-wastes. This will discourage them from further exporting E-wastes and encourage them in building recycling facilities of their own.
- It is speculated that such laws could increase the cost of electronics because producers would add recycling costs into the initial price tag.
- There are concerns that manufacturers may use recall programs to pull second-hand electronics off the reuse market, by shredding rather than reusing or repairing goods that come in for recycling.
- Fees are set in place to help incentivize recycling, but this may deter the use of manufacturing with better materials for different electronic products.
EPR – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here
Questions relevant to Extended Producers Responsibility
How effective is EPR?
EPR policies have been known to contribute to packaging waste reduction and increase recycling activities. EPR policies are having a positive impact throughout the years in many countries.
What is EPR in plastic?
Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR is a legislative strategy used by most industrialised nations to promote the chemical recycling of plastic waste.
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