Chapter 9.2.1 Strategic approaches

Expand Extended Producer Responsibility schemes

Expand Extended Producer Responsibility schemes to include, for instance wind turbine blades, fishing and aquaculture gear, mattresses and textiles

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

The principle of producers taking responsibility for their products over the whole lifecycle of that product is positive, and helps deliver on the Polluter Pays principle.

In addition, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes have the potential to bring in much needed funding from the private sector to invest in mitigating the environmental impact of these products at the end of their life.

In practice EPR implementation can sometimes conflict with existing re-use and preparation for re-use activities when implemented poorly, notably by restricting access for re-use operators to discarded yet re-useable goods.225 There are several examples across Europe where EPR schemes have damaged environmental social enterprises by removing access to valuable material that they were preparing for reuse.

The Scottish Government should bring forward EPR schemes which:

  • are mindful of the waste hierarchy by prioritising local reuse and repair over large recycling schemes
  • strongly discourage the export of waste materials for overseas processing, which significantly undermines public confidence in recycling226
  • support and invest in local circular economy projects, including those delivered by local charities and social enterprises

Any implementation of EPR should include commitments to prioritise third and social sector reuse organisations.227

For further information:


There is a case to consider an outright ban on the export of waste.


For example in Spain a new law mandates 50% of public tenders relating to collection, transport and treatment of second-hand products, go to social enterprises.

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.