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Learn A Fix: Extended Producer Responsibility

Consumers are becoming more responsible so shouldn’t producers too? Yes, absolutely and that’s what ‘extended producer responsibility’ (EPR) means. Learn more about EPR in this article.
Extended Producer Responsibility

What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

Has this ever happened to you? You move in with someone and you establish an unspoken agreement with your roommate. They cook, you do the dishes. Sounds fair, right? Well, not when your roommate isn’t exactly gifted in the art of cooking. They buy an absurd amount of veggies, cut them inefficiently, burn or trash some, leave the dirty pots and pans on the stove. Sure, they feed you decent-ish food, but then they leave it up to you to clean up their mess. 

That’s the relationship between producers and consumers right now. Producers go about creating products without ever thinking, “wait, what happens to our product once our customers are done using it?”.

India generates 3.3 million metric tons of waste every year. Only 10% gets recycled. Our brainwashed minds would feel guilty and ask, “why don’t people recycle?” but we’d urge you to ask, “is it okay to go on creating products without thinking about the waste it creates?”

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is when the manufacturer of the product takes responsibility for the entire life cycle of the product and especially for the take back, recycling and final disposal of the product.

Why should you care?

A lot of time and effort has gone into shifting the burden onto consumers. We’re thinking about recycling, composting, plogging, while also turning our hair gray with all the climate anxiety. Yes, salt and pepper look is all well and good but what about the hundreds of crores we, as taxpayers, spend to recycle the waste being generated?

By holding producers accountable, products become more resource efficient and take away the burden from you, as consumers, to think about the consequences of using the product. It’s an opportunity to be more efficient and innovative with using materials and lowering the CO2 emitted across the entire supply chain.

How can you help?

Among all the pressure being put on you unfairly as consumers, this is probably the only one that makes most sense. As consumers, your choice matters.

Some simple questions to help you through your purchases:

  • Is the packaging environmentally-friendly?
  • Is the product made using recycled or upcycled material? 
  • Is there a chance that the product will end up in the landfills or our seas?

Some questions you can ask your favorite producers / brands: 

  • What’s your EPR policy? 
  • How do you ensure your products create minimal negative impact on our environment?

Have questions about how we practice EPR? Write to us at hello@theswitchfix.co

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