Producer Responsibility Organizations in India: Catalyst for EPR Waste Management

Producer Responsibility Organizations in India: Catalyst for EPR Waste Management

Producer Responsibility Organization - PRO for EPR Waste

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) placed responsibility on the producers to deal with end-of-life waste management. This was an important step towards environmental conservation as measures were needed for the proper disposal of waste products. However, the producers were given the option to delegate the EPR responsibilities to third-party organizations against certain fees. These organizations are known as Producer Responsibility Organizations. Let’s understand how Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO) function and what is their role in EPR waste management.

How Does Producer Responsibility Organizations Function? 

The producers and importers are given an option whereby they can either manage the EPR themselves or by engaging third-party organizations like Producer Responsibility Organizations. PROs need to obtain Producer Responsibility Organization registration with the CPCB by filing the application form. It then enters into an agreement with such producers, importers or their consortium. Their key responsibility includes the collection and channelisation of e-waste generated from end-of-life products. 

Role of Producer Responsibility Organizations

Producer Responsibility Organizations primarily undertake the responsibility to manage the Extended Producer Responsibility of the producers. In such a case, the producer responsibility organization roles for EPR include the following:

  1. Collection Targets: PRO helps in the preparation and filing of the proper target estimates for the producers that need to be reported to the CPCB.
  2. Arranging the Logistics: PRO arranges for the logistics and transportation of the waste from different collection points. It also manages the recycling channel through vendors. Apart from this, PRO also provides a reverse logistics facility whereby the discarded and used goods are moved from the consumers back to the manufacturers or sellers.
  3. Establishing Collection Points: PRO helps in developing and establishing the collection mechanism like door-to-door collections including the source from where the e-waste is collected.  This can also include setting up the collection godowns or conducting operations from warehouses in conformity with the guidelines issued by the ‘Central Pollution Control Board’.
  4. Take Back / Buy Back: PRO also assists in implementing the Take Back / Buy Back mechanism.
  5. Proper Disposal: PRO ensures that e-waste collected and channelised, processed waste disposal as well as end-of-life plastic waste is traceable. Further, they also ensure that dismantling and recycling are done in an environmentally sound manner.
  6. Spreading Awareness: Conducting awareness programs to spread awareness among bulk consumers and producers regarding the collection and channelisation of waste. Separating waste at source, spreading education on types of waste, adopting sustainable waste management practices etc. forms part of such awareness programs.
  7. Return Filing: PRO also assists producers in filing their annual and quarterly returns.
  8. Bringing Innovation: PRO maintains proper and comprehensive records of the waste it manages. This data is then used by PRO to assist the PIBOs to innovate and redesign their products and make them more eco-friendly.

In a Nutshell

Producer Responsibility Organizations can significantly reduce the burden or EPR compliance for the producers or their consortium. Apart from fulfilling the EPR responsibilities of the producers, PROs also perform related functions like compliance management, plastic recycling etc. Further, they aid environmental agencies like the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in monitoring the stakeholders like producers and importers while also assisting them in making sound decisions in relation to environmental policies. In case you need any assistance with EPR registration and compliance, feel free to contact the ASC Group.


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