Applying EPR in developing countries


The basic idea behind EPR is that: the burden of responsibility for the end-of-life treatment of products placed onto the market should be taken by the producers. EPR is usually conceived as a comprehensive policy package, combining various instruments to simultaneously achieve three distinct objectives:

- Improved waste management and resource recovery:
to establish effective collection of end-of-life (EoL) products from consumers, promote environmentally sound treatment and efficient recycling, and reduce the amount of wastes for final disposal;
- Integrating environmental externalities into production and consumption: to transfer the financial burden for waste management from the public sector to the manufacturers;
- Design for the environment: to provide economic incentives for producers to incorporate product design that enables easier reuse and recycling of products.

These three objectives, and the comprehensive character of EPR schemes, are emphasised in the work published by the OECD , which has become a reference model for EPR
policy development in advanced countries. Most attempts at implementing EPR in developing countries have followed the OECD model as a baseline and assume that all above three EPR objectives should be met simultaneously. The result is a large gap between the full scale model and the limited implementation capacity of developing economies.