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EPR around the world - where is it going?

EPR around the world - where is it going?
by Annis Mapleston at 09:39 in Circular Economy, Emerging, Environmental, Packaging

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) was first introduced ​in the 1990s.​ The main objectives of EPR legislation are typically to ensure that the cost of waste management is covered by the businesses that are producing the waste, and to incentivise good environmental design decisions.​ Packaging EPR is becoming ​increasingly common​ around the world, with individual regions currently focused on slightly different priorities. So what do we believe might happen over the next few years? This is the first blog in a series of posts, investigating potential global trends.

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Minimal mandatory packaging EPR exists in Africa, with some countries now entering the early stages of implementing it. African producers should expect to have EPR regulations to comply with in some countries in the next few years, but it is unlikely to be widespread.


​The situation in APAC nations is currently very mixed, with some countries having mandatory packaging EPR and very strict requirements, others having voluntary schemes or ones with restricted scopes, and others with no legislation at all. Producers in this region can expect to see increasing numbers​ of comprehensive mandatory EPR systems, alongside higher fees in countries with existing legislation.


​EPR is well established across Europe, primarily for packaging, WEEE and batteries. The EU's Circular Economy Package Directives (e.g. Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive) set the direction for future developments in all Member States, including increased use of modulated fees and higher material-specific recycling targets. They also set the expectation that waste producers should cover the full costs of disposing of end-of-life products and packaging.

Latin America​

Although some countries have either voluntary packaging EPR schemes or very restricted ones, there are no widespread requirements in Latin America at the moment. However, a number of markets have recently passed EPR legislation, so Latin American producers should begin planning for

North America​

Packaging EPR is already in place for several Canadian provinces, with others publishing draft regulations to introduce it. A number of US states have also published draft legislation, with a federal Bill additionally being considered. As a result, North American producers can expect to see packaging EPR being increasingly common, alongside existing fees becoming higher.

If you have any questions about how EPR may develop over the next few years, what this would mean for your business or what financial implications this may have, please contact us to talk to one of our consultants.

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