Extended Producer Responsibility is a policy that the Indian Government has adopted to mitigate the environmental pollution problem in the country. Keeping our natural environment safe and working for its betterment is a rule in the Constitution of India. Article 21 guarantees the right to life which includes the right to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment without pollution. Articles 48-A and 51-A (g) also relates to this notion. These articles of the constitution of India talk about the responsibilities of the states and citizens to protect the natural environment, have compassion for all living creatures, and safeguard the forests and wildlife.
The waste management rules in India prescribe responsibilities for various stakeholders relating to the generation, collection, storage and processing of waste. Mostly the EPR policy applies only to the waste types that are comparatively more harmful to the natural environment. It prescribes producers to complete the targets as per the products they push in the market each year. These producers need to understand the processes of EPR Management to properly fulfil their responsibilities. The EPR targets renew each year and hence result in a circular economy where producers of waste take responsibility for managing it at the end of its life.
What is EPR?
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a concept that places responsibility on the producers of goods to take care of their products even after the sale. It means that manufacturers are accountable for what happens to their products once people discard them. In simple terms, EPR ensures that companies are responsible for managing the waste and environmental impact of their products. This includes designing products that are easier to recycle, setting up a collection system, and establishing recycling plants and disposal facilities to process the product when they become waste. Implementing EPR shifts the burden of managing waste and protecting the environment, from the government and taxpayers to the companies that create products. This helps to reduce pollution, promote recycling, and encourage sustainable practices in the industrial landscape.