Author(s): Khetriwal DS, Kraeuchi P, Widmer R
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Abstract E-waste, a relatively recent addition to the waste stream in the form of discarded electronic and electric equipment, is getting increasing attention from policy makers as the quantity being generated is rising rapidly. One of the most promising policy options to address this issue is to extend the producers responsibility for their products beyond the point of sale, until end-of-product-life. This paper briefly introduces the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and its applicability in the area of the end-of-life management of electronic and electrical equipment (EEE). It then examines the decade-long experience of Switzerland in using EPR to manage its e-waste, elaborating on the experience of the Swiss system in overcoming specific issues, and finally wrapping up with a synopsis of the lessons for policy makers. We consider each issue as an enquiry of questions confronting a policy maker and the choices that may present themselves. The five issues discussed are: (i) the challenges in getting an EPR based system started; (ii) securing financing to ensure a self-sustaining and smooth functioning system; (iii) organising a logistics network for the take back and collection of the e-waste; (iv) ensuring compliance of the various actors involved; and finally (v) reducing the threat of monopolistic practices.
This article was published in J Environ Manage
and referenced in International Journal of Waste Resources