EPR Toolbox

PREVENT Waste Alliance
Published: 01 June 2021
Last edited: 01 June 2021
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Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a key concept for ‘closing the loop’ in the packaging value chain. 

The EPR Toolbox, developed by the PREVENT Waste Alliance, is a collection of internationally relevant knowledge on the topic of EPR for packaging. Its aim is to promote knowledge exchange and enhance development of EPR systems worldwide. It contains detailed training materials on EPR and provides an introduction to a number of distinct issues, such as roles and responsibilities, finance, or collection and recycling of packaging waste. 

Practical country examples and a set of FAQs offer a more in-depth understanding on the complex issue of EPR. The EPR Toolbox is therefore a collection of building blocks that can be adapted and applied to different contexts. It will be available in Vietnamese, Bahasa, Thai and Chinese. 


Central America
East Asia
East Europe
East and South Africa
North Africa
North and Central Asia
South America
South Asia
Southeast Asia
West Asia, Middle East
West and Central Africa
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Area-wide development
Freshwater ecosystems
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Open sea
River, stream
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Cities and infrastructure
Legal & policy frameworks
Marine litter
Sustainable financing
Urban planning
Waste management
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Inefficient management of financial resources
Infrastructure development
Physical resource extraction
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Indirect through government


Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany | Worldwide, e.g. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and China


The global supply of goods has changed drastically over the last 50 years. The number of different products on the market is increasing and individual items are being produced on an ever-increasing scale. However, pollution caused by packaging disposed of incorrectly is an increasingly serious problem, and one that needs to be addressed urgently by designing products that are easier to recycle, and investing in collection and recycling systems.

Experience suggests that the principle of mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) can have significant potential to achieve a range of policy objectives. These policy objectives encompass changes both upstream (e.g. design for recycling) and downstream (e.g. increased collection, higher overall rates of recycling and improved technologies for sorting and packaging recycling).

Since the concept of EPR first emerged, a number of ‘EPR systems’ have been developed in a wide range of countries. A 2013 study conducted by the OECD stated that over 400 different EPR systems were already in operation. The toolbox contains 5 in-depth country reports from Chile, Germany, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Tunisia presenting example of EPR systems. The different cases demonstrate the legal backgrounds and objectives as well as the historical contexts.  

Contributed by

PREVENT Secretariat Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)