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Extended Producer Responsibility as a Driver for Design Change - Utopia or Reality?

By Naoko Tojo


Policies based upon Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) aim to reduce the environmental impacts of products across their entire life cycle. The intent is to induce design changes in products and thus reduce impacts at source. This, by provision of incentives to producers through an extension of responsibility. Since the early 1990s, a number of countries have incorporated the concept of EPR into policy related to end-of-life management of selected product groups. The incorporation of incentive mechanisms for design change in an EPR programme is, however, perceived to face various challenges, especially for durable, complex products. This thesis presents two sets of in-depth evaluation studies conducted in search of EPR programmes, which incorporate the theoretically envisioned incentive mechanisms in practice. Based upon firm evidence from the studies, it argues that the presence of mandatory EPR programmes do provide positive impacts for the environmental design strategies of manufacturers. This is especially true when implementation is based upon forms of so called individual responsibility where individual producers assume responsibility for the end-of-life management of their own products. Further, this work suggests a range of concrete implementation mechanisms for individual responsibility and highlights the essential components of such approaches

Topics: Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, Extended producer responsibility, EEE, policy evaluation, intervention theory, effectiveness, implementation, individual responsibility, complex products, cars, anticipation of mandatory instruments, batteries, design change, Commercial and industrial economics, Industriell ekonomi
Publisher: The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Year: 2004
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