[GRRN] OECD Conference on Producer Responsibility

Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 00:41:38 -0500

[From Californians Against Waste - Recycling Advocate, December 14, ]

OECD Conference on Producer Responsibility

(Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development = an organization of
about two dozen 'developed' nations, including U.S.))

On Dec. 1-3, the USEPA hosted an international workshop on Producer
Responsibility. The workshop was part of the OECD's efforts to prepare a
guidance document to countries considering Extended Producer Responsibility
(EPR) policies.

The workshop was an excellent opportunity to get a broad understanding of
the EPR efforts going on throughout the world. The workshop covered a
range of approaches ranging from voluntary to mandatory and including both
financial (packaging fees) and programmatic (recovery rates) components.
Clearly, Europe has been the leader in this area. The European Union has
established standardized goals for packaging recovery, which providing
flexibility to nations to determine the favored mechanisms for meeting
those goals.

These efforts where driven in part by Germany adopting its Packaging
Ordinance which requires manufacturers to meet certain collection and
recovery requirements or face the requirement to have stores accept
packaging back in their stores. German industries created the Dualles
System which established a collection system entirely separate from the
municipal collection system funded through fees for use of the German Green
Dot. Despite some major problems during startup, the system has recovered
and is tremendously successful in recovering packaging.