[GRRN] Australia Update: Beyond Recycling -- Community EPR Campaign

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 06:50:28 -0400

News from Sydney, Australia: Community-based
extended producer responsibility campaign. Great
idea! ....


Welcome to Friends of the Earth Sydney's Extended
Producer Responsibility Page

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has recently established
an Extended Producer Responsibility campaign.
Friends of the Earth Sydney feels that it is time to
expand existing discourse on waste management to
the realms of resource consumption. As a starting
point, we're going to develop a Community Based
Education Program on EPR - Extended Producer
Responsibility. EPR, in a nutshell, is about making
producers responsible for the waste their products
generate - for example through take back schemes
or design for durability, reuse, repair, disassembly
and/or recycling.

The Friends of the Earth (FoE) project grows from a
need to expand existing discourse on waste. The
community is increasingly aware of recycling,
composting, and 'buying green'. It is time to build on
this. We want to introduce EPR as an emerging tool
for 'waste minimisation'. EPR is an intangible
concept, unexplored in the Australian context.
However, it is reflected in the ongoing community
groundswell for Container Deposit Legislation, and
industry innovations in areas such as toner cartridge
reuse. Furthermore, EPR is needed. Council based
recycling programs are struggling - as local councils
are responsible for problems which industry
contributes to, and has a role in solving.

We also want to motivate action from environmental
advocates and pioneers within a range of community
'sectors': educators, industry, professional bodies,
government, small business, and of course,
consumers. 'Advocates' are people who are
interested in waste and design. They are ready to
take the plunge beyond recycling, ready to make
choices as consumers. They might even be
interested in cleaner production, and product
labelling. Our questions quickly developed an
outcome based dimension: What does the
community need to know about EPR? What do we
hope they will do?