Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility

17/04/2023

Extended Producer Responsibility

What is EPR?

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) appeared in law in 1975 and is historically very developed in France.

EPR, recognized in the European Waste Framework Directive, is based on the “polluter pays” system. Thus, each marketer is responsible for the waste generated by the products he has sold. The system is based on several sectors, established according to the type of product (packaging, electronic products, furniture, etc.) which supervise producers in their waste management.

How does EPR work?

This system is financed by eco-participations that the consumer can see directly on the display accompanying the product. Each product end of life is thus taken into account and financed by the end user.

Producers then have two options: directly manage the waste generated by their products and the cost of their treatment or participate in the financing of the sector concerned. In this case, companies can join the eco-organizations that manage each sector and to which they transfer their responsibility. The eco-organization will then directly take charge of waste management or will transfer the contributions of its members to local authorities or waste treatment unions.
This responsibility of the marketer therefore encourages him to eco-design his products in order to minimize his end-of-life costs. Eco-organizations, thanks to their knowledge of the market, also have a supporting role to play in this process in order to best guide them on the levers they can use: robustness, repairability, recyclability, substances and materials to avoid…

How has the AGEC Law changed the operation of extended producer responsibility?

The AGEC law has profoundly modified the operation of REPs since it first extended to all natural or legal persons who develop, manufacture, handle, process, sell or import products that generate waste or elements and materials in their manufacture its operation. E-commerce platforms or “marketplaces” are therefore now also concerned.

Decrees have come to complete this remodelling giving a new operating framework and new objectives, including for example:

Decree No. 2020-1249 of October 12, 2020 relating to the inter-sector commission for extended producer responsibility. This decree sets up the governance body for the extended producer responsibility sectors and defines the operating methods, missions and composition of the commission.

Decree No. 2020-1455 of November 27, 2020 reforming extended producer responsibility. This decree lays down the procedures for implementing extended producer responsibility by eco-organizations and producers who set up individual systems, in particular with regard to the procedures for their approval by the administrative authority, the minimum obligations waste management, the conditions for setting up funds relating to the financing of the repair and reuse of products.

New EPR sectors

Lastly, AGEC Law has increased the number of EPR sectors in order to take as much waste into account as possible in this system, as shown in the graph below:

Fig.1 EPR sectors and dates of implementation

Next Steps

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