The Extended Responsibility of Producers or EPR sector aims to establish a national sector, driven by the State, for waste management on certain types of products or objects, ranging from raising awareness among citizens to supporting recycling channels
These channels are based on the concept of polluter pays . They empower economic players (producers, manufacturers, distributors) over the entire life cycle of products offered on the market: from their production until the moment when the product becomes waste. Thus, the producer participates in financing the waste management sector for the product that he has placed on the market.
History of REP sectors
The Extended Producer Responsibility Act entered into force in France in 1975. It is referenced in Article L. 541 – 10 of the Environmental Code .
The emergence of EPR sectors was encouraged by the decree of April 1, 1995 concerning household packaging. Spurred on by European and national dynamics, several other sectors have emerged for other used products, in particular, the best known, batteries and accumulators, electrical and electronic equipment (or WEEE).
The AGEC law (Anti Waste for a Circular Economy) of February 10, 2020 has made it possible to fundamentally transform the organizational system of these PWR sectors. Today the objective is no longer only the treatment of waste but also to act upstream on prevention and awareness. This law brings together all the internal actors of the sectors such as eco-organizations or stakeholders, it also ensures the monitoring and provision of data and information concerning the waste in question.
What is an REP sector?
Producers, distributors and resellers of their own-brand products, who market products, which one day or another themselves become waste. Producers then have the obligation to financially support the management of the product that has become waste. The management of extended producer responsibility goes through an intermediary third party: the eco-organization. The eco-organization organizes the EPR sector and connects producers, actors in waste management, and beneficiaries (territories, communities, citizens).
What objectives for these REP sectors?
The broadening of the objectives for waste treatment from prevention to elimination has made it possible to act on the entire product life cycle. Extended producer responsibility therefore has the following mission:
- Develop waste recycling and increase recycling performance
- Relieve local authorities of the costs of waste management: transfer from the taxpayer to the consumer
- Internalize the costs of managing this product once used in the final selling price of the new product in order to encourage manufacturers to engage in an eco-design process.
What are the REP sectors?
Gradually, nearly 20 sectors have been set up in France since the 1980s. Each sector has its own eco-organization (s) which govern and manage the life cycle of these products. This diagram provides an overview of the EPR sectors imposed by Europe, those set up by France, and those that were built voluntarily as well as future sectors.