Woman stands in front of a pile of plastic recycling bales in Colombia

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a regulatory mechanism used to finance costs associated to the environmentally friendly management of a product or its packaging once it reaches its end-of-life by placing such costs on manufacturers or sellers (‘producers’).

Traditionally, the concept of EPR has been applied to three waste streams (per EU Directive’s), Packaging, E-waste / WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment), and Batteries, but some pioneering countries are leading the way on EPR for other problematic waste streams such as textiles, paint, construction equipment, tyres, fishing equipment, and more.

Why is EPR important?

Consumption of a wide range of products continues to grow rapidly across the world and emissions associated with consumption and resources represent around 45% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore imperative that problematic waste is tackled.

WRAP believe there is an opportunity to work with governments and business across the world to tackle this ever-growing problem and that EPR plays an important role.

  • 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from clothing and footwear. 
  • 12.6 million tonnes of textile waste are generated in the EU each year, 17 million tonnes are generated in USA each year, and 1.7 million tonnes are generated in Japan each year. 
  • The production of 1kg of electronics results in the emission of 25kg of carbon into the atmosphere.
  • 57 million tonnes of e-waste are generated each year, resulting in 1,425 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Less than 50% of the 80 million tons of packaging produced each year in USA is recycled.
  • 50,000 mattresses go to landfill in USA each day, but up to 90% are recyclable. 
  • 80 million gallons of leftover paint in USA each year. The cost to governments that safely manage that paint (without EPR) is ~$600 million per year.
Find out about WRAP's recent EPR work

How WRAP can help your organisation

WRAP has the expertise to support stakeholders across the EPR value chain. 

We can provide guidance and expertise relating to existing or potential EPR systems for various problematic waste streams and across various countries, regions, and territories. We can provide such support through partnership agreements, in an advisory capacity, and as a co-delivery partner.

Some examples include:

Governments and policymakers

  • Support the establishment of new EPR systems (e.g., new waste streams) or expansion of existing EPR systems (e.g., expansion of scope or coverage).
  • Recommend efficient and effective EPR mechanisms tailored to national EPR systems and national markets.
  • Design and initiate plans that will help governments/regulators/policymakers to achieve their environmental targets.

Producers, manufacturers and brand owners  

  • Help ‘producers’ to understand their EPR obligations in all regions where they operate, as well as their options for compliance and which compliance options are the most financially and administratively attractive.

Councils and municipalities

  • Support with waste stream collection & recycling coordination.
  • Support to effectively convey information about the EPR mechanisms that have been implemented in their regions to consumers. Thus, making consumers aware of what waste streams have pre-funding for collection and recycling and how those waste streams should be collected in their regions. The level of consumer knowledge and engagement has a big effect on the success of EPR systems. 

Industry associations   

  • Work with industry associations to convey information on existing or upcoming EPR mechanisms and how obligated companies are expected to comply, allowing obligated companies to be proactive, rather than reactive.
  • Convey information on how industry associations could influence how EPR mechanisms are designed and implemented.  

Universities and academics 

  • Work with universities and other academics to coordinate participation in sectoral collaborations.

Waste management organisations

  • Support waste management organisations with understanding EPR systems that have been implemented in their regions, including how they should operate in accordance with such systems and how they can benefit from such systems in the most financially and administratively advantageous ways.


  • Collaborate to present and distribute information to wider audiences.
  • Facilitate the establishment of new relationships and partnerships with governments, policymakers and industry associations in other geographies. 

Investors and grants

  • Work to acquire and mobilise funding for EPR systems and distribute funding to industry segments to facilitate the successful design, implementation, expansion, and operation of new and existing EPR mechanisms.

Talk to us about EPR

If you would like to speak to us about EPR and how we can help you, please fill in the form below.