The FINANCIAL -- Georgia’s national obligations under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) were discussed at a stakeholders’ meeting attended by over 200 representatives of the central and local governments, international and donor organizations, private sector, chambers of commerce and business associations.
The event was a joint effort of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia with the support of the European Union, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Sweden.
Nodar Kereselidze, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia; Molly Lien, Head of Development Cooperation of the Embassy of Sweden; and Gigi Bregadze, UNDP Democratic Governance Team Leader, addressed the guests with opening remarks.
The discussions at the meeting focused on Georgia’s baseline situation regarding specific waste streams and the best international practices to ensure involvement of relevant Georgian businesses and other stakeholders in setting and implementing EPR schemes. Local and international experts presented a range of options for EPR in Georgia, including options for waste electrical and electronic equipment, packaging waste and case studies for other specific waste streams. The meeting officially inaugurated the process of consulting on provisions of the relevant EPR legal drafts.
Every year, Georgia generates around 900 000 tons of municipal waste. This waste contains up to 1000 non-hazardous and hazardous substances which pose a threat to human health and environment. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach to waste management successfully implemented throughout Europe. Under this tool, the producers and importers take a responsibility for the proper collection and treatment of specific waste.
The Waste Management Code of Georgia, which will be enacted from December 2019, introduces a concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for the following specific waste streams: packaging waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), end-of-the life tires (ELTs), end-of-the life vehicles (ELVs), used oils, used batteries and accumulators.
Extended Producer Responsibility is a new concept for Georgia and its introduction requires a relevant legal framework and adequate awareness of the public and private sector. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, with the support from the European Union, UNDP and the Government of Sweden, has been working in this area since 2017.
EPR, first formally introduced in Sweden by Thomas Lindhqvist in a 1990 report to the Swedish Ministry of the Environment, contributes to:
Separate collection of waste and its use as a resource;
Decrease of substantially open dumping of used goods in nature;
Re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of waste;
Reduction of waste disposal at landfills;
Safe treatment of harmful substances;
Efficient use of resources and the retrieval of valuable secondary raw materials;
Environmental performance of all operators involved in the life cycle of different products;
Improvement of product design;
Creation of new business and job opportunities, and, the most important;
Reduction of negative impacts on hunan health and environement.