Following the issue paper on EPR which was developed by the ISWA Working Group on governance and legal issues, the working group organized a special session about EPR during the ISWA World Congress. The special session concentrated on the question how to organize competition if a government has decided to grant accreditations to several Packaging Recovery Organizations.
The session was chaired by EXPRA’s Managing Director Joachim Quoden. Mr. Mathieu Hestin, from BIO by Deloitte presented the conclusions from the study commissioned by the EC, noting that EPR paves the way to resource efficient economy and that in cases of several PROs operating in one country, there is a need for centralized system or mechanism that should allocate the responsibilities among the stakeholders. Mr. Peter Börkey from OECD presented the current work regarding the updating of the 2001 OECD EPR Guidelines and noted inter alia that when there is a competition among PROs, a very strong regulation is needed. Mr. Christoph Scharff, ARA and Mr. Fritz Flanderka, RECLAY presented the current situations, the expectations and experiences regarding centralized organization/clearing house in Austria and Germany. Mr. Alphan Eröztürk, CEVKO and Chair of the EXPRA EPR Implementation WG presented the position of EXPRA, that is strongly supporting the introduction of a clearing house respective a dedicated central organization in case of competing PROs.

The panelists and the participants in the session discussed different issues, including whether competition on the PRO level is relevant or it should be at the WM operational level. As a conclusion it was agreed that the functioning of several PRO’s add complexity to the EPR system and therefore more control and enforcement of legislation by the government is needed. Moreover, all agreed that a central organization is absolutely necessary as it should ensure a level playing field and that that all PRO’s follow the same rules and have the same responsibilities.