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An Overview of the Problems Posed by Plastic Products and the Role of Extended Producer Responsibility in Europe

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Plastic products are easy and convenient for our everyday use,
but their negative impacts on human health and the environment cannot be
overlooked. The negative impacts and effects of plastic waste are now
widely known and have been subject of much recent media coverage, both in
Europe and on a global level.
Faced with increasing amounts of plastic waste, the European Union as a
whole and many European governments in particular, are currently revising
the policy options available to cope with the problem. One of the tools
which may be deployed with a view to reducing the pressures posed by
plastic waste, is the Extended Producer Responsibility principle. It is
considered to be one of the major waste management policy instruments
that support the implementation of the European waste hierarchy. Its
application may assist in fostering the collection and recycling of waste
streams that contain plastic. This paper presents an overview of the
problems posed by plastic waste, and outlines their environmental
dimensions. It discusses the role of the Extended Producer Responsibility
principle and provides some recommendations that may be useful in
enhancing extended producer responsibility.


  • Plastic, Plastic Waste, Europe, Extended Producer Responsibility

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