The Role of Economics in Extended Producer Responsibility: Making Policy Choices and Setting Policy Goals
AbstractExtended producer responsibility (EPR) embodies the notion that producers should be made physically or financially responsible for the environmental impacts their products have at the end of product life. The EPR concept has taken hold in Europe and is garnering wide interest in the United States, where a variant known as “shared product responsibility” or “product stewardship” is usually the preferred approach. There are several policy instruments that are consistent with EPR—product take-back mandates, advance disposal fees, deposit-refunds, recycled content standards, and more. The EPR concept itself, however, provides little guidance about which of these instruments might be appropriate under particular conditions and for particular products. Moreover, while the EPR goal is usually focused on end-of-life environmental impacts, in the United States, at least, the goal seems to have widened to include environmental impacts throughout the product life-cycle. And even a focus on end-of-life impacts leaves the question of whether EPR is intended to deal with waste volumes, the toxic constituents of waste, the method of waste disposal, or a combination of these things. In this paper, I address three main topics: appropriate goals for EPR; conditions under which EPR should be preferred over alternative non-EPR policy instruments; and specific policy instruments that are both cost-effective and consistent with EPR principles. In the discussion of the second and third topics, I focus on the issue of “design for environment.” I develop four policy “maxims” that should guide EPR policymaking. I then apply those maxims to a brief case study of electronic and electrical equipment waste.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-11.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
EPR; recycling; design for environment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
- Margaret Walls & Paul Calcott, 2000. "Can Downstream Waste Disposal Policies Encourage Upstream "Design for Environment"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 233-237, May.
- Ronnie Schöb, 1997. "Environmental Taxes and Pre-Existing Distortions: The Normalization Trap," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 167-176, May.
- Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 1999.
"Product Design and efficient Management of Recycling and Waste Treatment,"
76-99, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
- Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2001. "Product Design and Efficient Management of Recycling and Waste Treatment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 109-134, January.
- Fullerton, Don, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 245-51, March.
- Don Fullerton & Ann Wolverton, 1997. "The Case for a Two-Part Instrument: Presumptive Tax and Environmental Subsidy," NBER Working Papers 5993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 2000.
"Upstream Pollution, Downstream Waste Disposal, and the Design of Comprehensive Environmental Policies,"
dp-97-51-rev, Resources For the Future.
- Walls, Margaret & Palmer, Karen, 2001. "Upstream Pollution, Downstream Waste Disposal, and the Design of Comprehensive Environmental Policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 94-108, January.
- Dinan Terry M., 1993. "Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 242-256, November.
- Linderhof, Vincent & Kooreman, Peter & Allers, Maarten & Wiersma, Doede, 2001. "Weight-based pricing in the collection of household waste: the Oostzaan case," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 359-371, October.
- Spulber, Daniel F., 1985. "Effluent regulation and long-run optimality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-116, June.
- Eric BROUILLAT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Vanessa OLTRA (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2011. "Dynamic efficiency of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) instruments in a simulation model of industrial dynamics," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-14, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
- Chen, Yenming & Sheu, Jiuh-Biing, 2007.
"Environmental-Regulation Pricing Strategies for Green Supply Chain Management,"
25255, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Chen, Yenming J. & Sheu, Jiuh-Biing, 2009. "Environmental-regulation pricing strategies for green supply chain management," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 667-677, September.
- Gunasekaran, Angappa & Spalanzani, Alain, 2012. "Sustainability of manufacturing and services: Investigations for research and applications," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 35-47.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.