Since the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) first emerged in the late 1980s, a number of EPR schemes have been developed in a wide range of countries. A 2013 study conducted by the OECD found that over 400 EPR schemes were already in operation worldwide, of which about 17 % were packaging related. However, it remains questionable whether the design of many of these EPR schemes has created the desired outcomes to steer the transition from a linear to a circular economy.

To help governments, the private sector and civil society stakeholders to develop effective EPR schemes, WWF has developed this set of basic principles for designing and implementing effective EPR frameworks. These principles will serve as a benchmark for stakeholders to ensure that current EPR schemes are on the right track towards a circular economy and provide guidance for future policy designs.