First introduced in the 1990s in Germany, Sweden and France, the reputation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) as a powerful tool for promoting effective waste management solutions has grown tremendously and was meanwhile adopted by an increasing number of countries. Due to differences in national legislations, however, the landscape and performance of EPR schemes remains extremely heterogeneous and vastly differs amongst European countries and EU Member States, with some EPR schemes consistently performing above average, meeting the increasingly ambitious targets set out at EU level (e.g. in terms of collection rates), and others continuing to underperform.
As a result, many stakeholders have expressed their concerns about the increasing complexity of the EPR landscape, highlighting that the large discrepancies between countries can create inefficiencies and adversely affect the functioning of the EU single market. This comparative performance assessment of different EPR schemes in use in the European Union and European countries describes the salient features as well as advantages and disadvantages of the various schemes.