[GRRN] epr

Bette Fishbein (fishbein@informinc.org)
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 11:23:49 -0500

"EPR:What Does it Mean? Where is it Headed?

A comprehensive article on extended producer responsibility by Bette
Fishbein, now available on INFORM's website---www.informinc.org.

The article traces the development of EPR, as it spreads to countries around
the world and is extended to different product sectors such as packaging,
electronics and vehicles. EPR initiatives in the US are documented as well
as the PCSD definition of EPR which differs from the definition used abroad.
The OECD project on EPR is described which will lead to a guidance manual
for member countries on how to implement EPR.

Key policy issues are analysed including: who is the producer? how can
responsibility be shared? should EPR be voluntary or mandatory? how can
"free riders" be dealt with? how can costs and benefits be evaluated?

The article concludes that the aim of EPR programs "is to send the right
economic signals and then leave industry free to innovate. EPR builds the
post-consumer stage of products into a company's bottom line. This gives a
competitive advantage to less wasteful, more eonomically recyclable
products, and can provide an important economic incentive to drive product
innovation toward more efficient resource use." Of course, EPR also relieves
pressure on municipal budgets now struggling with funding recycling

For further information contact Bette Fishbein---fishbein@informinc.org.