Existing EPR policies in Asia Pacific
by Jianhong Hu at 14:39 in Packaging, Content, Emerging
This blog is part of a wider series from Lorax EPI, taking a deep dive into the current and future landscapes for packaging extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations on a global scale.
Due to the uneven social and economic developments, the EPR legislation progress in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) presents a large variety. This post will give you a glimpse at some territories with established EPR systems and how they are implemented.
Territories with established EPR systems:
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan
The Japanese EPR system for packaging has been established since the early 2000s. In this system, municipalities take the responsibility of waste collection, sortation and transportation, while producers finance the recycling of the collected waste packaging. There are two ways to comply: Register with and pay the contribution to Japan Container and Packaging Recycling Association (JCPRA), which is a national level scheme, or apply for approval of an individual recycling system for producers to do the recycling themselves.
Similarly in South Korea, packaging producers comply through a collective scheme, Korean Packaging Recycling Cooperative (KPRC), or an individual system. Since 2020, mandatory packaging recyclability evaluations have also come into force, and the recyclability grade labelling has become a new obligation for packaging producers. See our previous post for more details.
In Taiwan, the collective scheme system works in the same logic as the aforementioned countries. However, the individual system is not an option for producers yet.
In contrast to the rather prescriptive approach to packaging EPR systems in Europe and the above territories, Australia adopts a voluntary agreement called the 'Australian Packaging Covenant' to address the environmental impact of packaging. The signatories of the Packaging Covenant must submit an action plan for improvement and report annually on achievements. Producers are not legally responsible for the management of packaging waste, but those above a certain turnover must sign up to the Packaging Covenant or they will be subject to the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM), which authorises local governments to recover the cost of waste management from the brand owner's consumer packaging.
However, along the line of EPR, the container deposit system (CDS) that covers beverage containers is in place in most states, including the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.
Currently, major reform is proposed to reshape the EPR system in Russia. The option to comply individually or through producer responsibility organisations (PROs) might be abolished because the current system is ineffective in enforcing eco-fee collection, and PROs have further fragmented the funding base.
As planned since early 2019, a draft law proposes to authorise the Russian Environmental Operator (REO) extensive regulatory and financial powers. If passed, REO will operate the EPR register that will be integrated with the MSW register, control POM and waste reporting, collect EPR fees and determine the spending of collected fees. As an alternative to the EPR payment to REO, producers are allowed to set up their own infrastructure for managing waste products, but they are obligated to pay double the EPR fees on any shortfall if the collection target is not reached.
EPR regulations come with packaging compliance and reporting, which can become rather difficult when so many schemes in one region operate so differently from each other. Lorax EPI offers a comprehensive service, using our in-house, cloud-based software, which relieves the reporting burden for companies that have EPR obligations. We maintain detailed records of the reporting requirements of compliance schemes around the world and work with businesses to ensure that all EPR reports are submitted correctly and on time.
If you are interested in knowing more about our software and reporting services, please contact us to talk to one of our consultants today.
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