Differences in Perception of Extended Producer Responsibility and Product Stewardship among Stakeholders: An International Questionnaire Survey and Statistical Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Different perceptions of the concept of extended producer responsibility and product stewardship (EPR/PS) have tended to lead to prolonged policy disputes and have likely affected the design of EPR/PS policies. We therefore surveyed stakeholders’ perceptions of the concept of EPR/PS, including its aims, application, and rationales, and analyzed 376 responses with regression analysis and cluster analysis. The results clearly demonstrated the diversity in stakeholders’ perceptions and identified/confirmed several patterns between stakeholders’ perceptions and attributes. Concerning aims, our analysis showed that stakeholders from middle-/low-income countries placed more importance on proper treatment and waste reduction in EPR/PS policy, while those from Europe, North America, Japan, and the rest of Asia had different perceptions on seven aims of EPR/PS, especially for increasing collection and shifting responsibility to producers, and paid varying attention to upstream and downstream improvement (e.g., better product design and recycling, respectively). Our analysis also confirmed that respondents perceiving lack of capability of local governments regarding waste management advocated EPR/PS more and respondents positive about information acquisition put more importance on physical responsibility. The largest contributing variables to the perception of EPR/PS were 14 specific EPR/PS mechanisms/issues, suggesting that discussion about specific mechanisms of EPR/PS policy is a key if common and better understandings of the EPR/PS concept are to develop. The dominant rationale of EPR/PS agreed upon by the respondents was producers’ capability, but the concept of beneficiary bears was also supported by 58% of respondents, especially by national governments and North Americans. Finally, implications of the results for EPR/PS policy development were discussed.


External organisations
  • National Institute for Environmental Studies of Japan
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • extended producer responsibility (EPR), industrial ecology, product design change, recycling, stakeholder perception, waste management
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-451
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number2
Early online date2018 Sep 27
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch