Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Design: Economic Theory and Selected Case Studies
AbstractA 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 InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-06-08.
Date of creation: 08 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
design for environment; recycling; waste management; incentive-based policy instruments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-03-18 (All new papers)
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