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Extended Producer Responsibility

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Chapter Summary

Extended producer responsibility was characterized as an economic incentive to reduce waste, which is applied through product life-cycle thinking. It permeates environmental legislation, and, in particular, electronics recycling-related legislation, in many different ways. The allocation of responsibilities has often proved to be the most controversial point in drafting recycling policies. A gamut of opinions regarding the proper division of responsibilities may also be found within the stakeholder groups. The trade implications of allocating the actual and financial recycling responsibilities thus merit further elaboration. Extended producer responsibility in the field of solid waste management is often divided into a functional and financial element. One of the environmental guidelines underlying extended producer responsibility is the "polluter pays principle". A requirement of a collective financial responsibility would therefore lead to a lower degree of environmental protection and a higher likelihood of trade impediments. Finally, differences between individual and collective financial responsibility are discussed.

Keywords: collective financial responsibility; environmental legislation; extended producer responsibility; financial recycling responsibilities; individual financial responsibility; polluter pays principle; stakeholder groups



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