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Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Design: Economic Theory and Selected Case Studies

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  • Walls, Margaret

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

A core characteristic of extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies is that they place some responsibility for a product’s end-of-life environmental impacts on the original producer and seller of that product. The intent is to provide incentives for producers to make design changes that reduce waste, such as improving product recyclability and reusability, reducing material usage, and downsizing products. This paper assesses whether the range of policies that fall under the EPR umbrella can spur this “design for environment” (DfE). It summarizes the economics literature on the issue and describes conceptually how policies should affect design. It then analyzes three case studies in detail and two more case studies more briefly. The conclusion reached is that some DfE—especially reductions in material use and product downsizing—can be achieved with most EPR policies, including producer take-back mandates and combined fee/subsidy approaches. However, none of these alternative policies as they are currently implemented are likely to have a large impact on other aspects of DfE.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-06-08.

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Date of creation: 08 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-06-08

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Related research

Keywords: design for environment; recycling; waste management; incentive-based policy instruments;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Don Fullerton & Wenbo Wu, 1996. "Policies for Green Design," NBER Working Papers 5594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Norimichi Matsueda & Yoko Nagase, 2011. "An Economic Analysis of the Packaging Waste Recovery Note System in the UK," Discussion Paper Series 72, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2011.
  2. Özdemir, Öznur & Denizel, Meltem & Guide, V. Daniel R., 2012. "Recovery decisions of a producer in a legislative disposal fee environment," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 216(2), pages 293-300.

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