Applied Environmental Research

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Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been high on the environmental policy agenda of many countries due to its rapidly increasing volume and concerns over its toxicity and the critical metals it holds. To date, 59 countries have passed laws for WEEE management (ex-cluding State level legislation in the USA and Canada). Most of these laws are based on the principle of extended producer responsibility (EPR) but their treatment of allocation of respon-sibility and system operation differ considerably. This study reviews the implementation models of EPR which are classified into two broad groups: producer compliance schemes and governmental funds. The advantages and disadvan-tages of each model are analyzed and a synthesis proposed for Thailand in the form of a step-wise hybrid model, considering local conditions. A new draft law, the Act on the Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Other End-of-Life Products, differs from earlier drafts solely based on the governmental-fund model. Under the proposed system, producers of designated products would have an opportunity to develop their compliance plans individually or collectively. This would allow them to channel their experiences of working with EPR in other countries to the implementation of Thai WEEE management schemes. The compliance plans have to outline how they intend to support the free take-back obligations stipulated in the draft law. Collection targets can be added to improve system performance in the later years. Unlike a typical producer-led system, the government retains the power to levy product fees into the National Environmental Fund. This ensures the leverage in the case that the producer's plans fail to function in a developing country context. Revenues would then be earmarked to support investments and campaigns to achieve the objectives of this law.

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