Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes are adopted not only to promote collection and recycling of waste products but also to close material loops and incentivise ecodesign. These outcomes are also part of creating a more circular economy. Evaluations of best practices can inform how to further optimise systems towards more ambitious collection, recycling and recovery of both hazardous and critical materials. Gas discharge lamps in particular are a key product category in this regard, considering both the presence of mercury and of rare earth materials in this waste stream. Nordic countries in particular are known for advanced collection and recycling systems and this article compares the EPR systems for gas discharge lamps. The EPR systems for lamps are evaluated using theory-based evaluation approaches to analyse both the performance of lamp EPR systems and challenges perceived by key stakeholders. The cases were constructed based on primary and secondary literature, statistical data, and interviews with stakeholders. The findings indicate that the collection and recycling performance is generally still high for gas discharge lamps in the Nordic countries, despite some differences in approach and structure of the EPR systems, but there remain opportunities for further improvement. In terms of EPR goals, there is evidence of improved waste management of these products as a result of the systems; however, there also remain significant challenges, particularly in terms of ecodesign incentives. The key factors for best practice are discussed, including aspects of the rule base, infrastructure, and operations. The particular characteristics of this waste category, including the rapidly changing technology, also pose challenges for EPR systems in the future.
- Tvärvetenskapliga studier