The new report from Computer Aid International urges for increased accountability for IT products in the developing world. In the EU, the recast of the WEEE directive regulates responsibilities for governments and IT producers on e-waste, but these do not extend to the developing world. And as demand for IT in the developing world is growing exponentially, serious questions need to be asked about what happens when the equipment inevitably becomes waste in these countries.
The report explores the flexibility of Extended Producer Responsibility showing that even in developing countries there are policy tools that can be harnessed to promote greater responsibility on IT producers. It calls for governments and producing companies to cooperate in implementing a fairer system wherein there is greater equality between developed and developing countries with regards to e-waste. Computer Aid International chief executive Tom Davis, said: “This report recognises that, when developing Extended Producer Responsibility systems, it is vital that local conditions be acknowledged and catered for. It is not a question of simply replicating systems that work in the EU or US.”
Computer Aid believes that a comprehensive system of Individual Producer Responsibility comprising of eco-design specifications, take-back mechanisms, financial liabilities as well as secure reporting and monitoring systems is the best way to assure safe management of waste electronics. While this is a very ambitious target for countries with little or no existing e-waste policies, this report highlights that there exists an array of policy instruments, under the banner of EPR, that can bring about the implementation of producer responsibility.
Through its comprehensive exploration of EPR as a policy toolkit and in light of the ever-growing motivation behind this approach, this report calls upon producing companies, CSR officers, legislators and environmental advocates to cooperate in developing fair and appropriate systems to achieve safe and responsible management of electronic waste.
The report can be found at: www.computeraid.org/uploads/Report-5---EPR_Final-ver2.pdf
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Extended producer responsibility