Tires producteurs 2002 PDF an example of products subject to extended producer responsibility in many industrialized countries. The concept was first formally introduced in Sweden by Thomas Lindhqvist in a 1990 report to the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. EPR may take the form of a reuse, buyback, or recycling program.
A good example of a producer responsibility organization is PRO Europe S. In response to the growing problem of excessive waste, several countries adopted waste management policies in which manufacturers are responsible for taking back their products from end users at the end of the products’ useful life, or partially financing a collection and recycling infrastructure. Recycling, banning, and taxation fails to adequately reduce the pollution caused by plastic bags. An alternative to these policies would be to increase extended producer responsibility.
Many governments and companies have adopted extended producer responsibility to help address the growing problem of e-waste — used electronics contain materials that cannot be safely thrown away with regular household trash. In 2007, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, people threw away 2. 5 million tons of cell phones, TVs, computers, and printers. The kinds of chemicals found in e-waste that are particularly dangerous to human health and the environment are lead, mercury, brominated flame-retardants, and cadmium. Lead is found in the screens of phones, TVs and computer monitors and can damage kidneys, nerves, blood, bones, reproductive organs, and muscles. Mercury is found in flat screen TVs, laptop screens, and fluorescent bulbs, and can cause damage to the kidneys and the nervous system. In the United States, 25 states have implemented laws that require the recycling of electronic waste.
Of those, 23 have incorporated some form of extended producer responsibility into their laws. According to analysis done by the Product Stewardship Institute, some states have not enacted EPR laws because of a lack of recycling infrastructure and funds for proper e-waste disposal. Advocates for EPR also argue that including « high expectations for performance » into the laws, and ensuring that those are only minimum requirements, contribute to making the laws successful. The larger the scope of products that can be collected, the more e-waste will be disposed of properly. Similar laws have been passed in other parts of the world as well. The European Union has taken steps to address some electronic waste management issues.