Working on behalf of the European Commission, Eunomia Consultants are undertaking research into improving Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) systems, and tackling free-riding within online markets.
Online sellers may intentionally or unintentionally avoid their compliance responsibilities, especially when trading across borders, and it has become increasingly prevalent in recent years within the three main regimes that cover packaging, WEEE and batteries.
The new research lead by Eunomia will analyse the scale and cause of the issue, and develop recommendations as to how to challenge it.
These recommendations will inform the European Commission’s work on developing EPR policy and environmental policy more generally, and could well be important for informing UK decision making as the WEEE and battery producer responsibility systems are advanced in the coming years.
Create a level playing field
It is estimated that around 5-10% of EEE sellers in OECD countries do not comply with EPR systems, and that within the UK 44-88% of small electronic items placed on the market are unregistered. Clearly, this is an issue that needs to be tackled to ensure the legitimacy of EPR schemes, particularly as purchasing habits continue to move increasingly online.
Ecosurety Innovation and policy director Robbie Staniforth commented "The value of this study will be defined by the quality of input provided by key stakeholders. To develop fair policy, viewpoints are needed from all aspects of the supply chain involved in the manufacture, import and selling of electronic goods and batteries."
"The current rules are not fit for purpose and must be developed to create a level playing field and improve minimum standards for placing these products onto the market."
How to take part
Ecosurety encourage all WEEE and batteries producers to take part and complete this survey on their compliance experiences by 30 September. The results will be used to start informing important policy recommendations for EU EPR schemes.
Additionally, industry stakeholders (including retailers, consumer associations, compliance schemes and waste operators) are asked to register here before the 8 October 2021 for updates and invitations to stakeholder events, and to email Eunomia with any evidence or position papers using this email address.