Extended Producer Responsibility is a system that imposes a certain quota for the recycling of wastes from products or packaging materials on the manufacturer of the products or the manufacturer of products that use the packaging materials. If the quota is not complied with, a fine that is greater than the cost of implementing proper recycling shall be imposed upon the manufacturer.
※ 15 countries in Europe, including Germany (DSD), the United Kingdom, France and Hungary, 4 countries in Asia including Japan, Taiwan and Australia, and countries in Latin America including Mexico and Brazil, have introduced the EPR system.
EPR is basically applied to existing items under a deposit system, and new items began to be added to EPR starting in 2003. In 2004, film-type packaging materials and fluorescent bulbs were added, with audio products and mobile communication devices added in 2005. Printers, copiers, and facsimile machines were added in 2006, and cosmetics were added in 2007. In 2008, manganese batteries, alkaline manganese batteries, and Ni-MH batteries were added, so EPR is currently being applied to a total of 24 items. Also, as electric and electronic products among EPR items have become subject to the Act on the Recycling of Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Vehicles following the enforcement of the Act since 2008, preventive management, such as restrictions on the use of hazardous materials, have been tightened.
|Products||Electronic Products (TVs, Computers, Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Washing Machines, Mobile Phones, Audio Products, Printers, Copiers, Facsimile machines) Tires, Lubricant, Batteries (7 Kinds), Fluorescent Bulbs|
|Packaging Materials||Metal cans, glass bottles, paper packaging and synthetic resin packaging materials that are used to pack Food and Beverages, Agricultural·Marine·Farm Products, Cleansers, Medicines and Cosmetics|
As the EPR system is based on the SPR (Shared Producer Responsibility) system, the government’s and the consumers’ responsibilities as well as the producers' responsibilities are extended. As in the past, the government takes the responsibility for the disposal of non-recycled wastes and the overall responsibility to collect recyclable wastes and put them into the recycling process, while the consumer eventually bears part of the recycling costs that producers pay because the recycling costs are reflected in the price of products, and he or she also contributes to wastes being easily collected by separating and sorting wastes.
Since the introduction of the EPR system in 2003, product recycling has been continuously increased. 6,069,000 tons of waste resources in total have been recycled over a 5-year period, from 2003 to 2007. The output of EPR items in 2007 increased by 11.6%, while the amount of the items recycled for the same year increased by 32.3% compared to the period before the EPR system was implemented. Also, it is estimated that 1 trillion 700 billion won of economic benefits and 3,200 new jobs have been created in the 4 years (2003~2006) following the implementation of the EPR system in 2003.