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Producer responsibility: E-waste and its significance

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Jyoti Chaudhary
Jyoti Chaudhary
Digital Marketing Expert

Introduction

With rising environmental and public health issues, the proper disposal of end-of-life commodities has become a hot topic among policymakers. Policymakers have been concerned with how to handle the waste that has emerged. In the last decade, the authorities have placed a responsibility on manufacturers of these products to be accountable for their end-of-life treatment. The producer may also opt to assign this duty to a third party, known as a producer responsibility organization (‘PRO’), which is compensated by the producer for managing used products.

What is producer responsibility?

  • Producer responsibility principle puts forth that manufacturers and importers of goods bear certain liability for the environmental effects of their goods over the course of their lives. The majority of the measures are based on the EPR concept, which holds manufacturers accountable for environmental effects during a product’s life cycle. The EPR is based on the polluter-pays principle (PPP), but it highlights the products’ life-cycle effects.
  • The scheme is focused on the idea that manufacturers must offer financial incentives to collection systems, manufacturing facilities, and the recycling industry in order to meet the government’s goals for collecting and processing of waste.
  • The producer should be interested in the overall implementation of the EPR framework, not just the collection.

Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO)

PROs would be enrolled in the structure in order to satisfy legal responsibilities on behalf of their member companies. They provide producers with a kind of contractor service. However, the manufacturer is solely responsible for supplying final proof of reprocessing/export of plastic packaging.

Relying on their expertise in the area, PRO registration may be divided into 3-4 groups. Start-ups, on the other hand, will enroll as PROs on the website. The following guidelines must be kept in mind:

  1. Producers or brand owners must ensure that an equal amount of plastic is obtained and processed on their own or by PRO.
  2. Producer or brand owner or PRO will lead implementation and provide funding for producers to promote plastic recycling as mandated by the Rules.
  3. The programme would encourage waste pickers’ inclusion in a way that enhances their workplace conditions and wages.
  4. PROs/Importers can also receive certificates from certified processors in return for proof of recycling or recovery, which will satisfy ERP requirements.
  5. Producers/brand owners will be able to communicate with ULBs, processors, and the informal sector individually or collectively (through registered PROs).

Significance of Extended producer responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an environmental conservation policy in which the product’s manufacturer assumes responsibility for the product’s entire life cycle, including take-back, recycling, and safe disposal. EPR is an environmental policy strategy that holds manufacturers accountable for returning goods after use and is focused on polluter-pays concepts. As a result, the producer’s liability for a commodity applies to the post-consumer stage of its life cycle.

EPR focuses on emissions arising from the final stage of product disposal and recycling in order to minimize the environmental effects of the product’s life cycle.

EPR has two key goals:

  1. increasing product collection, reuse, and recycling, and
  2.  Financial responsibility during the product’s life cycle.

The four major approaches are included in EPR:

  1. Product take-back approach
  2. market-based approach
  3. quantity standard approach
  4.  Economic approach.

E-waste Management through EPR in India

EEE goods that have outlived their usefulness have external consequences in terms of human health and the hazards to environment. Extending the burden for waste management is one way to pressure producers to internalize commodity externalities.

The control of waste is subsidized by public money in the conventional model, where local municipalities are responsible. EPR transfers the responsibility to the producers and away from local authorities by making them responsible for waste management.

Under the EPR scheme, producers are granted primary responsibility for managing e-waste. The Rules impose such acts on the producers in order to operationalize this obligation. The following are the main duties together under Rules:

  1. Collecting end-of-life goods, either individually or in groups, and ensuring that the waste is routed to a certified dismantler or recycler.
  2. Financing and coordinating a transparent scheme to cover the costs of environmentally sustainable e-waste management.
  3. Educating people about the dangers of e-waste and how to properly dispose of it
  4. Obtaining permission from the state pollution control agency, keeping annual reports of e-waste treated, and filing annual returns in a prescribed format.

Conclusion

EPR strategy can play a significant role in formalizing the strengthening of electronic waste and waste plastic through the producer take-back strategy, as well as improving the country’s economic aspects.

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Jyoti Chaudhary
Jyoti Chaudhary
Digital Marketing Expert
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