18 May 2016
Proposals for improvement of EPR provisions
1. Strengthen the framework for the functioning of EPR
- Ensure a stronger EU role in setting harmonised framework for EPR. Do not leave it to the Member States to each set up their own legal framework (Article 8a WFD).
- Introduce EPR requirement for packaging in PPWD to reflect the specific characteristics of packaging.
- Enable obliged industry to oversee performance and management of the EPR schemes when fulfilling their legal EPR responsibility, including business planning, investment decisions, reporting and auditing, and cost management (Article 8a WFD).
- Financial EPR obligations on industry to be defined in accordance with its roles and responsibilities alongside other actors, not the entire cost of waste management (Article 8a WFD):
- Full cost principle (Article 8a, §4(b) WFD) to be amended in order to cover the full cost related to the end of life of products, including costs for separate collection system, transport and treatment; administrative costs related to the PRO, public communication and awareness raising; monitoring, auditing and reporting.
- Net cost principle according to which the revenues from the re-use or sales of secondary raw material are taken into account should be maintained (Article 8a, §4(a) indent 1, WFD).
- True cost principle to be maintained (Article 8a, §4(b) WFD).
2.Strengthen the common understanding of the fundamental roles & responsibilities of the two main stakeholders in EPR, municipalities and industry in the WFD and PPWD (if added):
Responsibilities of regional / local authorities
Organise municipal waste management
- Securing collection and treatment of all municipal waste, including the separate collection of recyclables, collection of residual waste, incl. packaging waste not collected separately and collection of waste generated in public areas.
- Waste management planning and securing waste management infrastructure for municipal waste.
Finance municipal waste services
- Full responsibility for municipal waste management and treatment.
- Tender for services to promote competition and reduce costs.
- Charging households for waste management services provided.
- Ensure waste management infrastructure, including used packaging not collected separately.
- Creating incentives for separate collection (e.g. Pay-As-You-Throw).
Consumer & Citizen Communication
- Inform consumers about separate collection and preventing litter.
Monitoring and Reporting
- Reporting on progress towards related waste management objectives, focusing on separate waste collection.
Responsibilities for Industry
Organise recycling and recovery schemes to fulfil their legal obligation
- Ensure compliance with the take-back obligation, and the recycling and recovery targets for post-consumer packaging.
- Ensure sufficient capacity for collection, sorting, recycling and recovery.
Ensure robust financing together with authorities
- Contribute to costs incurred for separate collection and sorting of post-consumer packaging to meet recycling and recovery targets, i.e.: collection cost, cleaning of collection sites cost, transport and storage cost, sorting cost, disposal of impurities cost, taking into account revenues of secondary material.
Communicate to consumers
- Inform consumers on how to separate used packaging.
- Support anti-littering communications.
Ensure transparent reporting and monitoring
- Provide information to the Competent Authorities on separate collection of post-consumer packaging, amounts of packaging put on the market, amounts recycled and recovered, and improvement measures.
- These obligations can be delegated to a third party e.g. compliance scheme or Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).
Responsibilities of national authorities
- Responsible for implementing EU legislation, reaching mandatory EU legal targets.
- Defining regulations and operational requirements.
- Monitoring and enforcing the proper implementation of the EPR principle by all stakeholders.
- Establishing additional economic instruments like landfill taxes or PAYT schemes.
Waste management operators and recycling industry
- In charge of different waste management operations (collection, transport, treatment) in compliance with the regulation (and on behalf of other actors), of improving the waste collection and of treatment infrastructure and processes.
3.Strengthen the minimum common EU requirements for EPR in the WFD and PPWD (when added) to ensure fair competition in the Member States
Building on the provisions made in Annex VII WFD, these need to include:
- Member States shall ensure a broad and fair application of EPR to all companies falling under the scope of EPR by reducing minimum thresholds and strengthening enforcement by conducting regular audits of companies on their packaging material use and proof of compliance.
- Member states shall ensure minimum common obligations for all EPR schemes in a market, including the requirement to cover:
- Common minimum performance targets
- Nationwide collection
- Covering all material types
- Consumer awareness for better sorting and recycling based on national authorisation
- Same reporting requirements for all schemes
- A (public) register to track clients and manage free riders
- Self-compliance requires same procedure as authorisation of compliance/ PROs o
- Limit the vertical integration of operators as per recommendation of DG Competition
- Member States shall ensure transparency of EPR performance by strengthening reporting requirements to include information on collection cost per material, licensed/collected volume, type of material collected and source (commercial or household), recycling volumes etc.
- In markets, where several EPR schemes operate in parallel, Member States shall establish a clearing house to handle sensitive commercial information whilst ensuring transparency on performance.1
- Member States shall ensure that vertical integration of waste service providers does not hamper fair competition.
1 See recommendation of Bio by Deloitte Study ‘Guidance on EPR’, p.128