ABSTRACT: E-waste or WEEE (waste from electrical and electronic equipments) is becoming an important stream in waste management literature due to its growing quantity, hazard and potential value. This literature review aims to find how the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy principle tackles the issue of reduction of e-waste disposal influencing green design. A special section is dedicated to the financial aspect of EPR. After the introduction, the methodology used in the literature review is highlighted. Then the following sections are included: the definition and the purpose of EPR; EPR and financial mechanisms; green design (including individual and collective responsibilities aspects) and conclusions. The main findings are that EPR has proven to increase recycling rate in all countries where it was applied but it struggles to cause green design changes for electrical and electronic equipment especially when collective responsibility is in place. Incentives to invest in green design changes comes from systems capable of charging individual producers based on the effective product recycling costs. Moreover, regarding the financial cost allocation, we can report that European EPR legislation has generally improved the end-of-life management of e-waste shifting responsible (physical and economical) to producers and away from municipalities. However, additional research is needed to disclose how different types of responsibilities are shared between different actors (on one hand between consumers and producers and on the other hand between municipalities and producers).
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.