Do You Want to Know What Is EPR?

Do you want to know what is EPR? The full form of EPR is “Extended Producer Responsibility”. It is an urgent need to promote proper trash management since we produce plastic waste compared to the weight of the entire human population. EPR is a positive step in this direction. The goal behind the implementation of the EPR policy is to bring it back into the system to recover resources from waste. In simple words, EPR is a waste management concept the term is used largely whenever it is time to discuss plastic waste conversion. Let’s discuss the topic of EPR.

  • What Exactly EPR Is? 

Thomas Lindqvist, a Swedish professor, coined the word “EPR” first in the 1990s. EPR is a technique for identifying and encapsulating all environmental costs connected with consumer products and packaging over their complete lifecycle. A producer’s commitment to assist with a reverse collection method and recycling of end-of-life, post-consumer waste is known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

According to EPR, manufacturers have to develop less wasteful, damaging and hazardous items before they become “waste,”. EPR aims to shift the responsibility of waste management away from consumers and the government, and back to manufacturers.

  • How Does EPR Work?

The government has approved garbage collection agencies, recycling groups, and recyclers to simplify the proper and timely collection of waste, recycling, and proper disposal. They take care of these tasks on behalf of one company for a fee. PROs (Producer Responsibility Organizations) are a type of company that does this.

On completion, they give the organization a certificate that shows how much plastic garbage it has recycled. Waste recycling targets are now set at 30% which may increase over time.

As a result, EPR establishes a uniform and continuous cycle of responsible waste management. It assures that whoever makes plastic also recycles it, and that plastic is recycled through the supply chain. And continuous implementation of plastic EPR can minimize the ever-increasing challenge of plastic waste management.

  • What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages Of EPR?

 Like any other policy, extended producer responsibility also has its types of advantages & disadvantages for the environment. Let’s explore that topic.

Advantages-

  1. With the major prominence of EPR policy, countries that export E-waste face increased pressure. It will discourage them from exporting E-waste in near future and encourage them to construct their recycling facilities.
  1. We can observe a reduction in producers’ end-of-life costs if fewer materials and designing products that last longer are being used.
  1. Producers, if they face any kind of financial or physical stress from recycling their products, can be financially motivated to design more sustainable and environmentally friendly products which is the ultimate boon to the environment.

Disadvantages-

  1. Such restrictions are anticipated to raise the cost of gadgets as the producers can include the recycling expenses into the initial price tags.
  1. Some worries are about the manufacturers that they may use recall schemes to bring second-hand electronics from the reuse market by shredding rather than reusing or fixing devices that come in for recycling.
  1. Fees are in place to encourage recycling, although this may hinder the adoption of superior materials in the fabrication of various electronic items.
  • Conclusion

In India, in June 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced a new set of EPR guidelines (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Though it is very recent in India, in many countries, around the globe Extended Producer Responsibility has been implemented a couple of decades ago as a way of dealing with massive amounts of non-biodegradable yet recyclable waste. In our country, EPR is restricted to plastic and electronic waste (E-Waste). The Plastic Waste Management Rules and the E-Waste Management Rules in India contain the criteria for implementing EPR. Here, EPR is defined as “the producer’s duty for the environmentally sound management of the product until the end of its life” (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2020). Strong implementation of EPR policy can result in significant growth in size and profitability of the waste management sector as well as can make a healthy environment.

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How To Avail The Benefits From Plastic Waste With Minimal Spending?

Plastic is a synthetic or semi-synthetic everyday material, made of Polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer. It is cost-effective, easy to produce, highly durable, and helps protect and preserve goods through packaging.

But being a non-degradable product, it affects the environment worldwide and leads to plastic pollution. The world is turning into a plastic island. Oceans are filled with microplastic chips that are toxic to the marine ecosystem. We are already living in a time where we eat plastic with our foods and beverages, we use plastic for packaging and we stuffed more and more plastic waste in our motherland.

If we decide to stop plastic production all of a sudden, then we have to look at other alternatives that add similar value to plastic. But, this is not a fruitful solution. Researchers and scientists from all over the world, are looking for a way out to deal with plastic pollution. After lots of research, they came to a decision. By proper recycling and making useful products from plastic debris, we can get rid of plastic waste.

Indian Govt. has mandated new regulations on Waste management Rules by the Central Pollution Control Board. They have implemented Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to control the situation. It is the responsibility of the producers and manufacturers to take care of the plastic waste products that were once reached to the consumers from their peripheries.

To keep this in mind, Ecoex has come up with an idea to offer an online platform where producers, importers, recyclers, manufacturers can sell or purchase MLP & Non-MLP plastic wastes from any corner of India. It is India’s first digital marketplace that provides secure & transparent plastic credit certificate transactions. The registered recyclers have used the waste in many ways we can’t even imagine.

Let us see the beneficial side we are getting from plastic waste-

1) Home Decors: We can take used plastic bottles at home and create some cute crafts for home decorations. Thus, we can recycle at least 1% of the plastic waste at home.

2) Industrial Fuel: Do you know that we can now produce diesel, jet fuel, crude oil from plastic waste? Yes! The plastic is heated at a very high temperature in an inert atmosphere and the thermal decomposition produces fuel from the pyrolysis process.

3) Carbon Tubes: Small carbon tubes are widely used in marine engineering, medicine, and even in bomb disposal devices. These nanotubes can be made of plastic waste.

4) Sponges For Oil Spills: PET plastic is a huge source of plastic waste. The aerogel that is chemically produced from PETs, could absorb the spilled oil way faster than other commercially available materials.

5) Road Chips: The plastic wastes are mixed with hot bitumen at a certain temperature and used for road construction. It is a cheap, eco-friendly, and strong substitute for cement blocks.

There are many pieces of research going on, to look for other alternative recycling processes of plastic waste materials. If we all together come with innovative ideas to deal against plastic pollution, we will definitely be successful to gift our future a balanced ecosystem.

How Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility Can Increase Your Profit!

Plastic had become a part of our lives; it has secured its place everywhere in different forms like grocery polythene, coffee lids, water bottles to take out containers. China is the biggest importer of plastic in the world. Its primary sources are Japan, the UK, the USA, and Germany. 

Plastic has undoubtedly many advantages like being cost-effective, easy to purchase, water-proof, comes handy. At the same time, if you look at the other side of the coin, you will understand how problematic plastic is. 

Suppose you bought a plastic water bottle and threw it after your use. Now, the plastic bottle is put up in a landfill to degrade & the study shows that a single plastic water bottle takes 450 years to decompose, and you can imagine the situation now. That’s why we have to be very careful when choosing the plastic-type, such as avoiding using single-use plastics, making cloth shopping bags, buying food in bulk, etc. 

But let’s get honest here we can’t ignore or cut down plastic totally from our lives. That’s why the authorities have come up with a practical solution to deal with plastic waste & that is Plastic Waste Management Programme (2018-2024). The program is the initiative to establish environmental-free plastic disposal methods. 

 Later in 2016, the government of India has introduced Plastic Extended Producer Responsibility

 just like EPR E-Waste. Superficially, this law involved the trading of plastic waste between the producer & manufacturer or recycler. 

How Plastic is traded into business? 

The term EPR is the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and according to the EPR Plastic, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to either dispose or recycle post-consumer products. Under this policy, the manufacturers get financial support & plastic producer must give proof of the same amount of recycled plastic produced as waste. So, in the end, he can earn the plastic credit points.  

Generally, the manufacturers recycle the waste plastic to convert it into a usable product. So, it will be sold at a lesser price in the market compared to the fresh products. 

Is EPR Plastic Sustainable? 

The answer is a big ‘yes’ that EPR for plastic waste is sustainable for the following reasons.

It brings the plastic product to its end. 

  • It reduces the headache of management of plastic waste to the industrialist. Since EPR is trading between the producer & manufacturer, so, it is must serve profit to both sides. 
  • The prime principle of EPR compliance is recycling, and it has many benefits, such as 
  • They are reducing the plastic from the environment by recycling & creating a re-usable product from it. 
  • Recycled products have a lesser retail price. It involves working local people as laborers, thus helpful in employing people and thus building the nation’s economy. 
  • Plastic EPR also generates the importance of recycling plastic and thus helping in creating a less hazardous environment for future generations. 

Conclusion

We can’t neglect plastic from our lives, but the economic potential of the waste is much higher if traded legally. Plastic trading is not helping in reducing waste but also providing livelihood to people.