Promoting Industrial ecology by extended Producer Responsibility- Principles and Practices
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An important part of the concept of Industrial ecology aims at understanding and improving the metabolic pathways of materials in society. Extended producer responsibility is one of the recent, and indeed important, obligations towards industry and recycling structures. Until now this responsibility has mainly been implemented in the sector of packaging, but there are initiatives to expand to more sectors such as electronic and electrical products as well. What we see when examining the present practices of producer responsibility is that there is developing a complex and comprehensive infrastructure for materials separation and recycling. These efforts are much needed, however, they are to some extent reactive oriented if the manufacturing industries are not also focusing on preventative options related to product design, product environmental quality, product recyclability and product function in the use phase. This paper gives an introduction to the principles of producer responsibility and describes how this is implemented in Norway in terms of recycling efforts and material companies.