Do You Want to Know What Is EPR?

Do you want to know what is EPR? The full form of EPR is “Extended Producer Responsibility”. It is an urgent need to promote proper trash management since we produce plastic waste compared to the weight of the entire human population. EPR is a positive step in this direction. The goal behind the implementation of the EPR policy is to bring it back into the system to recover resources from waste. In simple words, EPR is a waste management concept the term is used largely whenever it is time to discuss plastic waste conversion. Let’s discuss the topic of EPR.

  • What Exactly EPR Is? 

Thomas Lindqvist, a Swedish professor, coined the word “EPR” first in the 1990s. EPR is a technique for identifying and encapsulating all environmental costs connected with consumer products and packaging over their complete lifecycle. A producer’s commitment to assist with a reverse collection method and recycling of end-of-life, post-consumer waste is known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

According to EPR, manufacturers have to develop less wasteful, damaging and hazardous items before they become “waste,”. EPR aims to shift the responsibility of waste management away from consumers and the government, and back to manufacturers.

  • How Does EPR Work?

The government has approved garbage collection agencies, recycling groups, and recyclers to simplify the proper and timely collection of waste, recycling, and proper disposal. They take care of these tasks on behalf of one company for a fee. PROs (Producer Responsibility Organizations) are a type of company that does this.

On completion, they give the organization a certificate that shows how much plastic garbage it has recycled. Waste recycling targets are now set at 30% which may increase over time.

As a result, EPR establishes a uniform and continuous cycle of responsible waste management. It assures that whoever makes plastic also recycles it, and that plastic is recycled through the supply chain. And continuous implementation of plastic EPR can minimize the ever-increasing challenge of plastic waste management.

  • What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages Of EPR?

 Like any other policy, extended producer responsibility also has its types of advantages & disadvantages for the environment. Let’s explore that topic.

Advantages-

  1. With the major prominence of EPR policy, countries that export E-waste face increased pressure. It will discourage them from exporting E-waste in near future and encourage them to construct their recycling facilities.
  2. We can observe a reduction in producers’ end-of-life costs if fewer materials and designing products that last longer are being used.
  3. Producers, if they face any kind of financial or physical stress from recycling their products, can be financially motivated to design more sustainable and environmentally friendly products which is the ultimate boon to the environment.

Disadvantages-

  1. Such restrictions are anticipated to raise the cost of gadgets as the producers can include the recycling expenses into the initial price tags.
  2. Some worries are about the manufacturers that they may use recall schemes to bring second-hand electronics from the reuse market by shredding rather than reusing or fixing devices that come in for recycling.
  3. Fees are in place to encourage recycling, although this may hinder the adoption of superior materials in the fabrication of various electronic items.
  • Conclusion

In India, in June 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced a new set of EPR guidelines (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Though it is very recent in India, in many countries, around the globe Extended Producer Responsibility has been implemented a couple of decades ago as a way of dealing with massive amounts of non-biodegradable yet recyclable waste. In our country, EPR is restricted to plastic and electronic waste (E-Waste). The Plastic Waste Management Rules and the E-Waste Management Rules in India contain the criteria for implementing EPR. Here, EPR is defined as “the producer’s duty for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life” (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Strong implementation of EPR policy can result in significant growth in size and profitability of the waste management sector as well as can make a healthy environment.

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