In the field of "waste management, extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a strategy designed to promote the integration of environmental costs associated with goods throughout their life cycles into the market price of the products. Extended producer responsibility legislation is a driving force behind the adoption of remanufacturing initiatives as it "focuses on the end-of-use treatment of consumer products and has the primary aim to increase the amount and degree of product recovery and to minimize the environmental impact of waste materials" 
The concept was first formally introduced in Sweden by "Thomas Lindhqvist in a 1990 report to the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. In subsequent reports prepared for the Ministry, the following definition emerged: "[EPR] is an environmental protection strategy to reach an environmental objective of a decreased total environmental impact of a product, by making the manufacturer of the product responsible for the entire life-cycle of the product and especially for the take-back, recycling and final disposal.
EPR uses financial incentives to encourage manufacturers to design environmentally friendly products by holding producers responsible for the costs of managing their products at end of life. This policy approach, which differs from "product stewardship, which shares responsibility across the chain of custody of a product, attempts to relieve local governments of the costs of managing certain "priority products by requiring manufacturers internalize the cost of recycling within the product price. EPR is based upon the principle that because producers (usually brand owners) have the greatest control over product design and marketing and these same companies have the greatest ability and responsibility to reduce toxicity and waste.
EPR may take the form of a reuse, buy-back, or recycling program. The producer may also choose to delegate this responsibility to a third party, a so-called producer responsibility organization (PRO), which is paid by the producer for used-product management. In this way, EPR shifts the responsibility for waste management from government to private industry, obliging producers, importers and/or sellers to internalise waste management costs in their product prices and ensuring the safe handling of their products.
A good example for producer responsibility organizations are the member organizations of PRO EUROPE. PRO EUROPE s.p.r.l. (Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe), founded in 1995, is the umbrella organization for European packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling schemes. Product stewardship organizations like PRO EUROPE are intended to relieve industrial companies and commercial enterprises of their individual obligation to take back used products through the operation of an organization which fulfills these obligations on a nationwide basis on behalf of their member companies. The aim is to ensure the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in the most economically efficient and ecologically sound manner. In many countries, this is done through the "Green Dot trademark of which PRO EUROPE is the general licensor. The Green Dot has evolved into a proven concept in many countries as implementation of Producer Responsibility. In twenty-five nations companies are now using the Green Dot as the financing symbol for the organization of recovery, sorting and recycling of sales packaging.
In response to all of the growing problem of excessive waste, several countries adopted waste management policies in which manufacturers are responsible for taking back their products from end users at the end of the products' useful life, or partially financing a collection and recycling infrastructure. These policies were adopted due to the lack of collection infrastructure for certain products that contain hazardous materials, or due to the high costs to local governments of providing such collection services. The primary goals of these take-back laws therefore are to partner with the private sector to ensure that all wastes are managed in a way that protects public health and the environment. The goals of take-back laws are to
Take-back programs help promote these goals by creating incentives for companies to redesign their products to minimize waste management costs, by designing their products to contain safer materials (so they do not need to be managed separately) or designing products that are easier to recycle and reuse (so recycling becomes more profitable). The earliest take-back activity began in Europe, where government-sponsored take-back initiatives arose from concerns about scarce landfill space and potentially hazardous substances in component parts. The European Union adopted a directive on "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The purpose of this directive is to prevent the production of waste electronics and also to encourage reuse and recycling of such waste. The directive requires the Member States to encourage design and production methods that take into account the future dismantling and recovery of their products. These take-back programs have been now adopted in nearly every OECD country. In the United States, most of these policies have been implemented at the state level, due to the political impasse at the federal level.
Recycling, banning, and taxation fails to adequately reduce the pollution caused by plastic bags. An alternative to these policies would be to increase extended producer responsibility.  In the US, under the Clinton presidency, the President's Council on Sustainable Development suggested EPR in order to target different participants in the cycle of a product's life.  This can, however, make the product more expensive since the cost must be taken into consideration before being put on the market, which is why it is not widely used in the United States currently. Instead, there is banning or taxation of plastic bags, which puts the responsibility on the consumers. In the United States, EPR has not successfully been made mandatory, instead being voluntary. What has been recommended is a comprehensive program which combines taxation, producer responsibility, and recycling to combat pollution. 
Many governments and companies have adopted extended producer responsibility to help address the growing problem of "e-waste — used electronics contain materials that cannot be safely thrown away with regular household trash. In 2007, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, people threw away 2.5 million tons of cell phones, TVs, computers, and printers. Many governments have partnered with corporations in creating the necessary collection and recycling infrastructure. Some argue that local and manufacturer-supported extended producer responsibility laws give manufacturers greater responsibility for the reuse, recycling, and disposal of their own products.
The kinds of chemicals found in e-waste that are particularly dangerous to human health and the environment are lead, mercury, brominated flame-retardants, and cadmium. Lead is found in the screens of phones, TVs and computer monitors and can damage kidneys, nerves, blood, bones, reproductive organs, and muscles. Mercury is found in the bulbs in flat screen TVs, laptop screens, and fluorescent bulbs, and can cause damage to the kidneys and the nervous system. Brominated flame-retardants found in cables and plastic cases can cause cancer, disruption of liver function, and nerve damage. Cadmium is found in rechargeable batteries and can cause kidney damage and cancer. Poorer countries are dumping grounds for the United States' e-waste as many governments accept money for disposing this waste on their lands. This causes increased health risks for people in these countries, especially ones who work or live close to these dumps.
In the United States, 25 states have implemented laws that require the recycling of electronic waste. Of those, 23 have incorporated some form of extended producer responsibility into their laws. According to analysis done by the Product Stewardship Institute, some states have not enacted EPR laws because of a lack of recycling infrastructure and funds for proper e-waste disposal. In contrast, according to a study of EPR legislation done by the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, states that have seen success in their e-waste recycling programs have done so because they have developed a convenient e-waste infrastructure or the state governments have instituted goals for manufacturers to meet. Essentially, these EPR programs have included some driver for increased collection of e-waste, and that is why these states have seen a greater impact on proper e-waste disposal than others.
Advocates for EPR also argue that including "high expectations for performance" into the laws, and ensuring that those are only minimum requirements, contribute to making the laws successful. In this way, manufacturers can be incentivized to collect more and dispose of e-waste more properly. Finally, the larger the scope of products that can be collected, the more e-waste will be disposed of properly.
Similar laws have been passed in other parts of the world as well. The "European Union has taken steps to combat the issue of electronic waste management. They have restricted the use of harmful substances in member countries and have made it illegal to export waste.
The Chinese laws regarding e-waste are similar to the ones in the EU, but they focus on banning the import of e-waste. This has proven to be difficult, however, because illegal smuggling of waste still occurs in the country. In order to dispose of e-waste in "China today, a license is required and plants are held responsible for treating pollution.
When producers either face a financial or physical burden of recycling their electronics after use, they may be incentivized to design more sustainable, less "toxic, and easily recyclable electronics. Using fewer materials and designing products to last longer can directly reduce producers' end-of-life costs. Thus, extended producer responsibility is often cited as one way to fight "planned obsolescence, because it financially encourages manufacturers to design for recycling and make products last longer.
Some people have concerns about extended producer responsibility programs for complex electronics that can be difficult to safely recycle, such as "lithium-ion polymer batteries. Others worry that such laws could increase the cost of electronics because producers would add recycling costs into the initial price tag. When companies are required to transport their products to a recycling facility, it can be expensive if the product contains hazardous materials and does not have a scrap value, such as with CRT televisions, which can contain up to five pounds of lead. Organizations and researchers against EPR claim that the mandate would slow innovation and impede technological progress.
Other critics are concerned that manufacturers may use takeback programs to take secondhand electronics off the reuse market, by shredding rather than reusing or repairing goods that come in for recycling. Another argument against EPR is that EPR policies are not accelerating environmentally-friendly designs because "manufacturers are already starting to moving toward reduced material-use per unit of output, reduced energy use in making and delivering each product, and improved environmental performance."
The "Reason Foundation argues that EPR is not clear in the way fees are established for the particular recycling processes. Fees are set in place to help incentivize recycling, but this may deter the use of manufacturing with better materials for the different electronic products. There are not set fees for certain materials, so confusion occurs when companies do not know what design features to include in their devices.
EPR has been implemented in many forms, which may be classified into three major approaches:
It is perhaps because of the tendency of economic policy in market-driven economies not to interfere with consumers' preferences that the producer-centric representation is the dominant form of viewing the environmental impacts of industrial production: in statistics on energy, emissions, water, etc., impacts are almost always presented as attributes of industries ("on-site" or "direct" allocation) rather than as attributes of the supply chains of products for consumers. On a smaller scale, most existing schemes for "corporate sustainability reporting include only impacts that arise out of operations controlled by the reporting company, and not supply-chain impacts  According to this world view, "upstream and downstream [environmental] impacts are ... allocated to their immediate producers. The institutional setting and the different actors' spheres of influence are not reflected".
On the other hand, a number of studies have highlighted that final consumption and affluence, especially in the industrialised world, are the main drivers for the level and growth of environmental pressure. Even though these studies provide a clear incentive for complementing producer-focused environmental policy with some consideration for consumption-related aspects, demand-side measures to environmental problems are rarely exploited.
The nexus created by the different views on impacts caused by industrial production is exemplified by several contributions to the discussion about producer or consumer responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions data are reported to the IPCC as contributions of producing industries located in a particular country rather than as embodiments in products consumed by a particular population, irrespective of productive origin. However, especially for open economies, taking into account the greenhouse gases embodied in internationally traded commodities can have a considerable influence on national greenhouse gas balance sheets. Assuming consumer responsibility, exports have to be subtracted from, and imports added to national greenhouse gas inventories. In Denmark, for example, Munksgaard and Pedersen (2001) report that a significant amount of power and other energy-intensive commodities are traded across Danish borders, and that between 1966 and 1994 the Danish foreign trade balance in terms of CO2 developed from a 7 Mt deficit to a 7 Mt surplus, compared to total emissions of approximately 60 Mt. In particular, electricity traded between Norway, Sweden and Denmark is subject to large annual fluctuations due to varying rainfall in Norway and Sweden. In wet years Denmark imports hydro-electricity whereas electricity from coal-fired power plants is exported in dry years. The official Danish emissions inventory includes a correction for electricity trade and thus applies the consumer responsibility principle.
Similarly, at the company level, "when adopting the concept of eco-efficiency and the scope of an environmental management system stated in for example ISO 14001, it is insufficient to merely report on the carbon dioxide emissions limited to the judicial borders of the company". 7 "Companies must recognise their wider responsibility and manage the entire life-cycle of their products ... Insisting on high environmental standards from suppliers and ensuring that raw materials are extracted or produced in an environmentally conscious way provides a start." A life-cycle perspective is also taken in EPR frameworks: "Producers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility (physical and/or financial) not only for the environmental impacts of their products downstream from the treatment and disposal of their product, but also for their upstream activities inherent in the selection of materials and in the design of products." "The major impetus for EPR came from northern European countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as they were facing severe landfill shortages. [... As a result,] EPR is generally applied to post-consumer wastes which place increasing physical and financial demands on municipal waste management."
EPR has rarely been consistently quantified. Moreover, applying conventional "life cycle assessment, and assigning environmental impacts to producers and consumers can lead to "double-counting. Using "input-output analysis, researchers have attempted for decades to account for both producers and consumers in an economy in a consistent way. Gallego and Lenzen demonstrate and discuss a method of consistently delineating producers' supply chains, into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive responsibilities to be shared by all agents in an economy. Their method is an approach to allocating responsibility across agents in a fully inter-connected circular system. Upstream and downstream environmental impacts are shared between all agents of a supply chain – producers and consumers.
Auto Recycling Nederland (ARN) is a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) that organises vehicle recycling in the "Netherlands. An advanced recycling fee is charged to those who purchase a new vehicle and is used to fund the recycling of it at the end of its useful life. The PRO was set up to satisfy the European Union's "End of Life Vehicles Directive.
The Swiss Association for Information, Communication and Organisational Technology (SWICO), an ICT industry organisation, became a PRO to address the problem of "electronic waste.
The Canada-Wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (CAP-EPR) was adopted in Canada in 2009 under the guidance of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. The CAP-EPR followed years of waste and recycling efforts in Canada that remained largely ineffective as the diversion rates from landfills and incineration persisted. Despite three decades worth of recycling efforts, Canada fell short of many other "G8 and "OECD countries. Since the CAP-EPR’s 2009 inception, most provinces have enforced legislation or restrictions on a wider range of products and materials under EPR programs. “Nine out of ten provinces have [since implemented] EPR programs or [put] requirements in place… As a result of these new programs or requirements and expansion of existing ones, almost half of the product categories for Phase 1 are now covered by legislated EPR programs or requirements across Canada.”
In Germany, since the adoption of EPR, "between 1991 and 1998, the per capita consumption of packaging was reduced from 94.7 kg to 82 kg, resulting in a reduction of 13.4%". Furthermore, due to Germany's influence in EPR, the "European Commission developed one waste directive" for all of member states (Hanisch 2000). One major goal was to have all member states recycle "25% of all packaging material" and have accomplished the goal.
In the United States, EPR is gaining popularity "with 40 such laws enacted since 2008. In 2010 alone, 38 such EPR bills were introduced in state legislatures across the United States, and 12 were signed into law." However, these laws are only at the state level as there are no federal laws for EPR. So far, "only a handful of states have imposed five to six EPR laws as well as 32 states having at least one EPR law".
|title=("help) in Scheer, Dirk; Frieder Rubik (2006). Governance of integrated product policy: in search of sustainable production and consumption. Greenleaf Publishing. "ISBN "9781874719328.