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Extended Producer Responsibility – EPR

Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR is a legislative strategy used by most industrialised nations to promote reuse, recycling, and eco-friendly disposal of polymer waste. Polymer waste is generated during manufacturing, distribution and sale of a variety of products including consumer goods, tires etc. EPR assigns the responsibility of disposal of this waste to the manufacturer of the goods. For example, disposal of post consumer laminate waste (PCLW) or flexible packaging used for food items, consumer goods, and water bottles is assigned to consumer goods manufacturers. Similarly, the responsibility of disposal of Waste tires disposal responsibility is assigned to the tire manufacturing companies under EPR.

At the centre of EPR lies a closed loop approach to managing products, whereby waste generated from a product is used to produce another product. This approach ensures the price of the product includes the cost of its safe disposal. Therefore, this approach significantly reduces the environmental impact of the waste as well as leads to lower cost of production for the new product.

Product manufacturers are best-placed to reduce the environmental impact of waste by ensuring they use input materials and packaging strategies that reduce waste generation. Since EPR has shifted the burden of waste disposal from governments to these product manufacturers, it has driven the adoption of innovative product and packaging strategies leading to reduction in plastic waste.

In practice, if a manufacturer introduces 100MT of polymer packaging material in the market, then it is responsible for collection and disposal of 100MT of post consumer plastic waste. The company may also delegate this responsibility to a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO). A PRO is paid by the manufacturer for collection and safe disposal of plastic waste.

Broadly, plastic waste can be classified into recyclable and non-recyclable waste.

  • Recyclable plastic waste, as the name suggests, can be physically recycled using technologies such as remoulding. Examples of this type of plastic waste include segregated and more than 95% pure HDPE, PE, PP Plastic waste.
  • End-of-life plastic waste cannot be physically recycled. Examples of this type of plastic waste include PCLW. This plastic waste can not be physically recycled by remolding, and incineration of such plastic waste is banned in most developed countries. Hence chemical recycling of this plastic waste by pyrolysis or hydrolysis is the only way for disposal of this end-of-life plastic waste.

apc has expertise in identifying the most suitable technology for disposal of such non-recyclable plastic waste. We offer complete solution including technology selection to operation and maintenance of plastic disposal facility. Contact us for more details.

This Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is applicable in India from 1st January 2018. Click here to view the concept note on Plastic Disposal Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) specified by India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF). 

Agile Process LLP is your partner for sustainable plastic waste management wordlwide. Would you like us to support you with your plastic disposal projects? We are looking forward to your enquiry.