OECD: EPRs fall short on promoting eco-design

20 May, Tokyo – An OECD report has said that whilst Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes have been effective tools for driving resource efficiency, they have not had the desired effect in improving product eco-design.

The report found that EPR schemes have increased recycling and reduced landfill and incineration, as well as reducing waste management costs by transferring them from the public to producers.

However, the report found only limited impact of EPRs on eco-design, which was one of the main drivers behind their creation. In response, the OECD recommends adding new products to those currently covered by the schemes. The report also highlights that there has been a lack of accountability of Producer Responsible Organisations (PROs), which are the private contractors that take on EPR responsibilities for a fee.

The report advises that there should be watchdogs, set up and paid for by PRO taxes that ensure that PROs fulfil their duties. Further, countries should avoid having a single PRO for an entire EPR scheme, which has allowed monopolies to exist.

Click to see the OECD Policy Guidance.

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