The EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) system in France is the result of a law of 13 July 1992, often called the "Barnier Law". This law forms the basis of the EPR system and introduces the principles of extended producer responsibility in waste management. What are the main assumptions of this system? And who should get an EPR number?
Origin of the EPR system
The EPR system in France is a response to the challenges related to waste management. It is also necessary to limit the impact of products on the natural environment. It is the result of a number of changes that took place not only in France. EU regulations were undoubtedly also important. The most important ones include:
- EEC Council Directive of 15 July 1975 - one of the first initiatives at European level that introduced extended producer responsibility systems to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. It also introduced the concept of refundable deposits.
- Act of July 15, 1975 - one of the key documents introducing the EPR principle in France. Thanks to it, packaging management systems, including recycling, were introduced.
- The Act of July 13, 1992 provided for the creation of a national waste management system, which was one of the steps towards the introduction of the EPR system in France.
- Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 - contributed to the establishment of more comprehensive EPR systems, in particular as regards packaging and packaging waste.
Main assumptions of the EPR system
The main goal of the EPR system in France is for producers and importers to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products. Here are the key assumptions of this innovative approach:
- Companies that produce or market various products, e.g. packaging, electrical appliances, batteries, are responsible for managing waste from these products.
- Companies are obliged to finance and organize the collection, sorting, recycling and disposal of waste generated by their products.
- The system emphasizes the importance of sustainable product and packaging design, encouraging the minimization of environmental impact.
Who must register in the EPR system?
It is worth mentioning that this obligation applies to:
- companies selling online and retail,
- importers who offer products directly to French consumers
Obligations of companies in the EPR system
Companies operating on the French market are required to register in the EPR system and fulfill their waste management obligations. The most important ones include:
- Paying EPR fees to fund recycling and waste management programs
- Organizing processes for collecting, sorting and recycling waste from products for which they are responsible
Undoubtedly, the introduction of the EPR system in France is an important step towards sustainable development and environmental protection. Thanks to it, manufacturers become active participants in the process of minimizing waste and promoting recycling, which contributes to the long-term protection of our planet.