EPR in Plastic recycling & How to Calculate?

What is EPR in Plastic recycling?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. The entire concept is related to waste management and is something that every manufacturer has to consider before letting a product out in the market. 

Basically, it adds all the environmental costs to the final price of the product to minimize waste issues. Plastic recycling is a big part of this entire process, and there are ways to reduce plastic waste. Here is what importance EPR holds for plastic recycling and how effective it is. 

Managing packaging materials

If we were to think of all the ways that plastic is required in any big industry, the packaging would top the list. Each industry or sector requires packaging material, which is mostly plastic. Here is how EPR helps recycle these mediums. 

The recycling market might go a little downhill at times, but that is only because of the lack of taxpayer subsidies. The constant budget crisis has led to the importance of recycling being questioned, and that is not a good thing. 

Systems that are financed well are usually those that are funded by the producer. This is possible in an EPR case scenario. So, EPR really is perfect for downsizing waste, and even if there is a crisis, it will be in the industry instead of the communities.

Ample campaigns

There have been a multitude of smear campaigns related to EPR for packaging throughout the world and India. The sole demand of these campaigns has been that the responsibility of the waste management costs and disposal expenses should be on the government. 

These campaigns have systematically misinformed the local businesses and companies about the entire EPR system. They have been led to believe that the EPR is related to taxes, and that is wrong on the government’s part to claim it. 

It has even been called a threat to the growth of the business, but that is not true. Misinformation and consistent campaigning has led too many business owners astray. However, the truth remains that controlling industrial waste is crucial for the environment, and is safe to launch the products in the market at the same time. It is time that the business owners take up this responsibility and contribute towards the environment.

Policies to support EPR

EPR helps greatly in increasing the recycling rate for many products and materials. The system can make any industry or business far more sustainable than it already is. However, boosting up the recycling rate, and managing the waste comes first for the company. 

There are various policies important for supporting EPR. One of them is where the customers and residents pay an extra amount for bigger trash carts and there have been fallouts with the recycling sector at times. 

Mostly, these recycling sectors tie-up with municipal governments to ensure that they carry out their work easily. Third-party organizations can also be seen quite often, and together, they make up a chain that upholds the EPR system. 

However, vendor contracts and negotiations with local governments are quite different from those in the private sector.

How do you calculate your EPR?

Fee modulation in EPR encourages the producers and manufacturers to adopt eco designs for their products. EPR schemes can help in covering the full waste management costs.

By improving the implementation of legislation, the producers can integrate EPR into circular economy objectives. This article covers various aspects of fee modulation and how to calculate EPR.

On which factors EPR fee depends?

The EPR fee depends on the products’ level of recyclability and the adoption of circular economy packages.

  1. Technology: It involves the existence of technology for sorting and recycling waste products. Take into account the accessibility and feasibility of the technology plus if you are using the best available technology or not. 
  2. Packaging: What is the cost of the different layers and components of packaging used for the product? It also includes the fee of separability and recyclability of the elements of packaging.
  3. Non-Hazardous and Disruptive Additives: There are additives like Opacifiers added to the products to make the ensuing system opaque. These additives contaminate the materials and make it difficult to sort them. Thus, the appropriate EPR schemes can help to modulate the EPR fee.
  4. Format Design: The format design of packaging the product includes its form, shape, label, glues, inks, lids, and pumps. The fee will depend on how easily the material of packaging can be sorted and recycled.
  5. Hazardous Additives: The use of hazardous components for your product will add an extra fee due to EPR schemes. The responsible producers are fined with charges to use additives to harm the environment and disrupt the waste management process. 
  6. Raw Material: The fee will depend on whether the manufacturer uses virgin materials or secondary raw materials for production. The use of natural assets and non-renewable resources will add extra numbers to your EPR fee.
  7. Recycled Content: The calculation and modulation of the EPR fee will depend on the:
  • Amount of recycled content
  • Quality standards of recycled content
  • A system to trace the recycled material

 8.   Bio-based material: Biomaterials are made from substances derived from living organisms. The fee modulation of EPR will depend on the use of these Bio-based materials.

  9.   Full cost coverage of schemes: It includes the EPR fees paid by the producer’s covers

  •  The collection of waste
  • Processing and sorting of the waste materials
  • Management of the recycled products

10.   Product Standards: It is the calculation of 

  • How much product is available in the market?
  • What are the processing and recycling rates?
  • What is the recyclability of the product?
  • Is the product biodegradable and compostable?

11.  Transparency in PRO’s: Increase the clarity and flow of information in Producers Responsibility Organisations. The EPR fee will also include the:

  • The fee of Producers Responsibility Organisations
  • Operating costs of PRO’s
  • PRO’s functioning and performances
  • The EPR schemes assessment

EPR fee will also include the other instruments of implementation of EPR:

  • Waste taxes
  • Product and material taxes
  • Voluntary agreement by producers
  • Procurement policies
  • Campaigns of information and awareness

EPR schemes are a vital part to ensure that the product and its value stays in the economy. The calculation of EPR will depend on the various strategies and methods adopted by the producers according to product requirements.