Extending producer responsibility
Synonyms: Managing for global producer responsibility
Promoting recycling of company products
Demanding extended producer responsibility
Instituting manufacturer responsibility for life of product
Description: Improving economic efficiency, reducing the use of resources and the environmental impact of products all along the chain, from the extraction of raw materials through production, packing, shipping, use and safe disposal when the product is discarded, as well as how to handle the residues produced along the way.
Context: Extended producer responsibility (EPR) advances environmental responsibility of industry beyond the manufacturing process to the entire life-cycle of its products. EPR can take several forms, including among others, providing information to product users or waste handlers, requiring assessments of wastes arising from post-sale products, and voluntary and enforced agreements between government and industry of industry "take-back" of wastes.
Implementation: In Germany, the Act on the Avoidance and Disposal of Waste (1986), gives waste avoidance priority over waste disposal. Regulations and provisions for compulsory take-back of waste have since been enacted for packaging, waste solvents and waste oil, and further measures for other products are being drafted. Voluntary agreements in Germany include take-back of PVC window frames, mercury lamps, mercury and cadmium containing batteries, and used computers. In Austria, the 1992 [Federal Waste Management Plan] includes take-back obligations of waste. In 1993, a packaging ordinance obliged all companies in the distribution chain to accept all waste packaging resulting from their products. In both countries, the packaging industry has established an organization to collect and recycle waste packaging. Several large companies such as IBM, Grundig, and Kodak have started their own take-back initiatives. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is supporting EPR, including take-back of waste, through its Cleaner Production Programme.
Claim: This strategy could reduce the resource intensity of consumption by a factor of 4 to 10. For example, a producer of televisions could lease instead of sell televisions, which remain the property of the manufacturer. If the television breaks down it is repaired. If this is not possible, the manufacturer can use its components to produce a new television.
Subjects: Life PromotionBusiness enterprisesManufactureProductionProductsManagement Resource utilizationPlanetary initiatives
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies