Study on items shipped for reuse and Extended Producer Responsibility fees
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) extends a producer's accountability for a product, from the point of sale to the disposal stage of its lifecycle. When it comes to managing items once they become waste, producers are responsible for their collection, pre-treatment (such as sorting, disassembly, or de-pollution), preparation for reuse, recovery (including recycling and energy recovery), and final disposal.
The objective of this study was to gain a preliminary understanding of volumes of products shipped for reuse beyond the EU, and whether those flows are covered by EPR schemes at the origin. One of the main findings of the study is that as second-hand products are exported from the EU to Africa for reuse, the EPR fees paid by producers to support waste management costs too often fail to follow them. The study highlights what this means for the receiving African economies, and provides recommendations for the EU to address it, with a specific focus on the exports of used electronics and vehicles. It further looks at the potential of circular business models that can be leveraged for effective management of products shipped beyond EU borders. Finally, key policy proposals and recommendations are made.
The "Study on items shipped for reuse and Extended Producer Responsibility fees: A case for extending EU EPR fees to cover end-of-life activities of products shipped outside the EU" was produced by the Circular Innovation Lab for the European Environmental Bureau, with the support of the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) Foundation.
Read the full report to learn more about the key findings and recommendations: