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Press Release: study finds Extended Producer Responsibility needs redesign for circular economy

Press release: Research finds that the extension of producer responsibility requires a redesign of for the circular economy.

A new study commissioned by the European Zero Waste Organization and released at a conference in Brussels today found that the current Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plan does not cover most product waste and calls for a redesign of producer responsibility. To move towards a circular economy.

For immediate release: October 14, 2015

A study published today [3] analyzed the composition of waste in 15 European cities and showed that 70% of municipal solid waste is product waste, so it is not food or garden waste, so it can be included in the EPR plan. However, only 45% of product waste (by weight) is currently covered by producer responsibility programs on average. This means that, on average, the EPR plan only covers 32.5% of the total municipal waste, with coverage ranging from 14.9% in Copenhagen to 47.6% in Paris. In addition, only 18% of product waste is collected separately through the EPR program.

Joan-Marc Simon, Director of ZWE, said: “The current interpretation of EPR in the past 20 years has helped increase recycling rates in Europe, but it needs to be updated to help us move towards a circular economy. We call on the European Commission to use the upcoming Waste programs include incentives to redesign systems and products to promote prevention and reuse, promote a service-oriented economy, make recycling the last option, and phase out disposal."

The report made a series of recommendations to the European Commission. Among them, it requires a broader definition and a more comprehensive approach to producer responsibility, including the use of economic means. Introduce legally binding eco-design requirements and better EPR plans, including full cost coverage, personalization, and separate collection goals, and consider expanding the current EPR scope to include more products and encourage reuse.

The study also found that the existing EPR plan is ineffective in promoting eco-design because of its limited coverage of product waste and the lack of EPR fee adjustments based on eco-design. The European Zero Waste Organization urges the European Commission to develop a minimum level of personalization standards in Europe based on eco-design.

Contact: Joan-Marc Simon,, +32 2503-49 11




1. Zero Waste Europe-Zero Waste Europe is an umbrella organization that enables communities to rethink their relationship with resources. It brings together local zero waste groups and municipalities in 20 EU countries. In addition to recycling, the Zero Waste Network aims to reduce waste generation, close material recycling, and increase employment and design waste in the system.

2. Report conference – 14.30 – 17.00 – Brussels, Belgium

3. Download the full report or download the executive summary

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