The Role of EPR Certified PRO

Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR

Extended Producer Responsibility or EPR is a judicial strategy used by most industrialized countries for promoting the following:

– Reuse of polymer waste
– Disposal of polymer waste in eco-friendly way
– Recycling of polymer waste

What is Polymer Waste?

The waste is generated during manufacturing, distribution and sale of products such as tires, consumer goods, etc. EPR assigns responsibility of waste disposal to the manufacturer of these goods.

For instance, the job of safe and environmental disposal of PCLW (post-consumer laminate waste) or flexible packaging used for water bottles, food items, and consumer goods is allotted to manufacturers of consumer goods.

The job of disposal of waste tires is allotted to the companies manufacturing tire under EPR. The EPR implements a closed loop approach to managing products. The waste generated from a product is used to producing another product. The approach guarantees inclusion of price of the product and cost of its safe disposal. Therefore, this approach significantly reduces the environmental impact of the waste as well as leads to lower cost of production for the new product.

Manufacturers of product are known to be the best people to reduce the environmental impact of waste. They are instructed to make use of input materials and varied packaging strategies that minimize waste generation. Earlier, governments were responsible for disposing off waste materials. Presently, EPR has shifted the burden of waste disposal from governments to product manufacturers. This has inspired the trend of adoption of innovative products and packaging strategies leading to reduction in plastic waste.

When it comes down to it, if a manufacturer presents polymer packaging material measuring 100MT in the market, then it is accountable for collecting and disposing 100MT of consumer plastic waste. It is also possible that the organization may even allot the responsibility to a PRO (Producer Responsibility Organization). The manufacturer pays PRO for the job of collecting plastic waste and disposing it off safely.

The Role of a PRO

A Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) is an organization that helps producers meet their EPR targets. This is done through several recyclers and dismantlers across the nation. A PRO is accountable for arranging for a collection mechanism for the targeted material. It is also supposed to create awareness for safe and effective recycling of e-waste.

These organizations also specialize in reverse supply chain services such as downstream processing, reverse logistics, and environmental reporting. They offer PRO services with regulatory take-back arranging for e-waste. Other responsibilities include creating awareness for masses through print marketing, social media, digital marketing, corporate events, collection drives, and a number of other initiatives.

Generally, plastic waste can be categorized into the following:

– Recyclable waste

– Non-recyclable waste

Recyclable Plastic Waste – This type of waste can be recycled physically using specific technologies such as re-moulding. Some of the most common examples of recyclable plastic waste include:

–  Segregated plastic waste

– Over 95 per cent pure HDPE waste

– Over 95 per cent pure PE and PP Plastic waste

It is not possible to recycled end-of-life plastic waste such as PCLW physically. This kind of plastic waste cannot be physically recycled by techniques such as remolding. Also incineration of these types of plastic wastes is completely banned in most developed countries. The only way of recycling the waste under this category is through chemical processes such as hydrolysis or pyrolysis.

Companies that have won EPR certificate hold expertise in identifying the most appropriate technology for disposing non-recyclable plastic waste. Most of these organizations offer complete solution of safe waste disposal such as choosing the right technology, operation and maintenance of facility used for plastic disposal.

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