EPR policies for electronics in developing Asia: a phase-in approach

Event: 10th Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production
Date: Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 9 - 11 November 2011
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Despite the increasing popularity of EPR-based legislation for electronic waste (e-waste) management in developing Asia, there are several challenges to moving from paper to practice. Part of the issue is that many developing countries are trying to apply the EPR model that was developed for and by industrialised countries.
In the phase-in approach proposed by IGES recently, the application of EPR should be adjusted to the level of national economic development, capacity for environmental policy enforcement, market structure of products and recyclables, consumer awareness, and relationships among key stakeholders. EPR implementation should progressively go from a basic focus on improved waste management to finally achieving design for environment.
Each country should establish a national e-waste expert review (NEWER) panel, active at both planning and implementation stages, to examine the country specific situation, recommend suitable policy tools, advise stakeholders, monitor implementation and assess progress towards performance targets.
A platform for regional collaboration is needed for capacity development, but also to address trans-boundary flows of waste. The platform should place more effective controls on the export of e-waste from industrialised to low-capacity, developing countries, thereby helping to ensure that harmful recycling and treatment is avoided.