What is EPR?
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a regulatory tool that requires product manufacturers, importers and distributors to be significantly responsible for the end-of-life management of their products.
Embedded in these requirements are sustainability-oriented incentives to reduce waste from the product life cycle, promote sustainable material selection, and collect and properly dispose of post-consumer products, batteries, and packaging.
Product sustainability is an increasingly mainstream business requirement. Aside from the legislative and regulatory concerns, ignoring the origin of components and materials, the management of toxic and harmful substances and the sustainability impacts of consumption, disposal and recovery, can lead to significant business risks.
As regulatory requirements vary greatly between jurisdictions and schemes, organisations often require deep subject matter expertise to help deal with the array of requirements and implementing bodies.
Anthesis helps organisations to understand and manage their EPR obligations. With over 15 years of experience delivering compliance services across many different sectors, Anthesis is strategically positioned to meet the specific needs of multiple industries including consumer goods and enterprise electronics, among others.
UK EPR update
In March 2022, the UK Government and Defra published an update on EPR. There is now a delay in the introduction of EPR in the UK and Defra is to implement EPR in a ‘phased manner’ from 2024, instead of originally 2023. Also, a further delay is planned as the introduction of modulated fees based on recyclability is now set for 2025 instead of 2024. These changes were implemented by Defra to simplify and de-risk delivery of payment for household packaging. Furthermore, there will be an exclusion of glass for England’s and Northern Ireland’s DRS and standardised labelling, including ‘do not recycle’ on all compositable or biodegradable packaging will be required. There are calls from industry to have more clarification when it comes to EPR, and focus will turn to future revisions of the UK’s EPR.
The EPR Compliance Landscape
The traditional approach of EPR is implemented into national legislation with mandatory requirements affecting organisations, as seen in packaging, products (electronics, WEEE or e-waste) and batteries, being the most common. Since some of these requirements have been around for 20 years, there is a ongoing need for policy reform to reflect the latest product design, types, consumption trends, and resource or waste management.
Current EPR policies and similar, undergoing reform:
- Eco-design – introducing new requirements on product performance and energy labelling
- Chemicals – PFAS updates on restricting manufacture and sale, forcing a move to alternatives.
- Plastic – prohibited use of materials e.g. microplastics and EPS, and taxation models for Single-Use Plastics
- Packaging – major reform in EPR costs as part of implementing the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan
- Batteries – EU Regulation impacting material supply product design, recognising batteries role as part of low carbon economy in products and electric vehicles (EV’s).
- Closed-loop recycling – a drive to achieve more of a circular economy, by retaining control of material, limiting international waste shipments and banning export of certain waste materials thereby increasing costs of disposal, and encouraging more investment into recycling e.g, Basel Convention updates.
- Emerging policies – in markets where EPR previously did not exist, governments are rapidly rolling out measures to combat the challenges of product consumption and disposal and appease the NGO, public and industry demands. We’ve recently seen Singapore implement new requirements, and up-and-coming nations in Latin America are next e.g. Chile and Argentina.
“Extended Producer Responsibility schemes are a vital part of any nation’s path towards achieving a circular plastics economy.”
Director, Global Plastic Action Partnership and Member
Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum
Are you ready for EPR? What businesses should do now
The frameworks of requirements for EPR are quite similar with a declaration of responsibility and financial fulfilment element that is linked to sales volumes. This is how Anthesis can bring the local operations and market intelligence together with a single information and data management solution. The main stages an organisation must follow are:
Qualify: understanding supply chains and routes to market is half the challenge, before looking into the actual legal text of what requirements an organisation needs to meet.
Apply: EPR and similar product stewardship laws, typically holds a registration requirement for obligated businesses to declare they have those responsibilities.
Report: regular reporting is necessary for EPR to quantify requirements. This step is important because it quantifies the costs for an organisation and is made on a declaration basis as an accurate and correct account of volumes by a business leader. In addition to data, information and takeback programs may also be required for the consumer.
Review: not only will policies, targets, and requirements change, so most definitely will the organisation itself. These changes impact the requirements, scope and costs to an organisation, so those responsible for compliance must remain on top of the latest updates.
Benefits of Anthesis’ EPR solution
- Greater transparency of liabilities and costs in disparate markets
- Reassurance of compliant product sales, labelling and supply chain operations
- Greater opportunity to reduce or offset compliance costs with collection partners
- Agility in assessing new markets, products, and services
- Local experience and teams already operating globally are able to respond and adapt to changes quickly
- Ability to promote what you are doing via corporate communications
- Improved business resilience (flexibility of an outsourcing model)
- Reduced duplication of effort and data records across multiple countries
- Better budget control and forecasting across the global market base
- Improved and tailored understanding of upcoming legislative changes
- Support external sustainability certifications requirements such as EPEAT
Our Extended Producer Responsibility services
Anthesis is strategically positioned in key global markets across the value chain to meet the specific needs of multiple industries. Our expertise in extended producer responsibility consulting and product stewardship can be split into three main sections – compliance, implementation and thought leadership.
- Compliance – responsible sourcing, including conflict minerals due diligence requirements, supplier material compliance data management and analysis, and managing product and packaging takeback services from data analysis to report construction and regulatory data submissions.
- Implementation– developing innovative and disruptive business models, managing business process outsourcing and integrating software and systems e.g. EPR compliance management solution.
- Thought leadership– providing analytics and reporting, research and development and strategic communications.
Our product stewardship services ensure products meet global regulations and define clear strategies to achieve set standards. We also offer product sustainability impact assessments as part of our services to help brands create better and sustainable products.
- (ACDC) Anthesis Compliance Data Collection is a free spreadsheet-based tool to facilitate data capture and conversion between industry-standard formats including IEC 62474, IPC 1752 v1.1 and IPC 1752A. This tool alleviates the common barriers to efficient data exchange and promotes the reuse of declarations across the supply chain. The Anthesis CDC is IPC1752A certified.
- ACS (Anthesis Compliance Suite) is a web-based system that augments your existing enterprise ERP and PLM based platforms and provides for efficient product compliance and conflict minerals data exchange. Available only as a combined business process outsource (BPO) and ACS solution, we take compliance management to the ultimate level of quality and automation and provide custom view dashboards and reports mapped against client KPIs.
Anthesis has a solid track record of contributing meaningfully to the advancement of the 'resource management' sector through the work it delivers for governments, businesses and other high profile clients.
We chose to work with Anthesis, who from the start have demonstrated their ability to manage complex and moving workstreams and their expertise in advanced recycling technology processes, waste management infrastructure, and data analysis and visualization. We value their thought partnership and are continually impressed with the depth and detail in their work and presentations.
We'd love to hear from you
Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.