- Extended Producer Responsibility
- Government Policy
- Deposit Return
- Circular Economy
Story 7: Greece Introduces Eco-Modulation of Producer Responsibility Fees to Encourage Reuse
In collective Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes, the fee schedule is most often set based primarily on cost of recycling each material. Eco-modulation of fees introduced in Greece is intended to drive upstream design changes to address reuse and repair.
Most often EPR fees incorporate the end-of-life cost (i.e. cost of collection, sorting and recycling) of a product or package. Eco-fee modulation is an economic tool intended to incentivise Design for Environment (DfE) changes upstream such as applying lower fees for sale of reusable products or packaging compared to recyclable products or packaging, or the use of criteria with lower fees to incentivise the use of secondary materials in product or package design.
In 2021 Greece introduced, a new regulation (Law 4819/2021) outlining rules for fee eco-modulation for plastic packaging. In this new system, producer responsibility organisations (PRO) fees are to be set taking into account various criteria such as durability, reparability, reusability, recyclability, the use of recycled content, and the presence of hazardous substances in a product or package. For example, the fees paid by a PRO on a plastic package increase if it uses coloured polyethylene (PET) bottles, multilayer plastic packaging, composite packaging, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or expanded polystyrene packaging, and PVC labels on packaging. All of these materials make a package more difficult or costly to recycle.
The use of eco-fee modulation is complemented by other economic instruments to encourage reuse: a charge on use of single use plastic beverage cups and food containers as of 2022 and for packaging products containing PVC as of 2022, paid by the consumer, to promote the use of reusable alternatives and a nationwide Deposit Return System (DRS) for plastic beverage packaging to be implemented from January 2023 by beverage packaging producers.
These national commitments were announced by Greece at the 2022 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council at Ministerial Level (MCM) meeting.
The European Union (EU) project on Reducing Plastic Waste in Canada