Story | 09 Dec, 2021

Experiences and Challenges in the Asia Region, an International Exchange on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

In November 2021, IUCN’s Asia Regional Office MARPLASTICCs project hosted a workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with several partners from the EU/Expertise France, GIZ PREVENT Waste Alliance, Thailand Environment Institute, WWF Malaysia EPR project, and international consultants to share learnings on EPR for Thailand and Viet Nam.

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Photo: © IUCN

The aim of this international workshop was to answer questions, and to share knowledge on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) across IUCN’s and partner activities related to the topic. In all, 56 participants attended, representing parties from government, academia, NGOs, and civil society in Thailand, Viet Nam, and globally, making this a truly international exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Primarily, the discussions focused on the road map of EPR in the future in both Thailand and Viet Nam and what may happen in the next 2-5 years. Participants noted that in Thailand, both the government and the private sector need to be more involved in the EPR discussions. In the broader political context, many ministries need to be involved with clear roles and linkages. Fiscal measures need to be evaluated to understand the impact of EPR. As policy instruments change with government changes, there are challenges with the consistency of these efforts.

EPR in Viet Nam is intended to reduce the cost of managing end-of-life products by reducing waste volume and increasing recycling, thereby contributing to the prime minister’s new target of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills by 80% by 2025. EPR has the potential to create new economic opportunities and share the financial burden of solid waste management more fairly. In Viet Nam, the next six months will be crucial to having additional stakeholders engaged as the process is moving rapidly. Stakeholders include solid waste management agencies, government ministries, and others as identified in the multistakeholder platform and clearinghouse mechanism. In the next five years there is much to be done with the implementation of the clearinghouse, decree approval, and the plans outlined for 2023-2027.

In Thailand, the government has recently acted to address the issue of plastic pollution with the creation of a sub-committee on plastic waste management. The sub-committee addresses the problem at different leverage points from awareness-raising to waste management mechanisms. However, it is challenged by an overall lack of coordination and a fragmented legal framework and has a long road ahead for coordinated EPR efforts.

The full report of the workshop is posted here.

IUCN’s Role in Extended Producer Responsibility

IUCN noted that it has an active role to play in EPR in Asia, as a neutral organisation, it is able to bring stakeholders together and as a neutral party can create effective spaces for dialogue and learning. Our ongoing presence in both countries and long-standing relationships with the governments and ministries places us in a good position to continue to facilitate positive change in the EPR arena.

As part of the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities (MARPLASTICCs) project at IUCN, in collaboration with the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, IUCN published five EPR studies that provide policy makers with guidance on the legal, policy and institutional frameworks governing marine plastics for Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Each country’s unique situation is presented in their own comprehensive report.

In 2020, IUCN Viet Nam and the Department of Legal Affairs organised a workshop in Hanoi where the EPR National Platform Terms of Reference, action plan, and the outline of the EPR country report that DLA prepared were presented. Participants at this workshop included representatives from DLA, IUCN, WWF, Sub-Association of Recycle Waste in Viet Nam, Unilever, La Vie, Tetra Pak, Coca-Cola, and Friestland Campina. These participants have been part of the EPR process in Viet Nam over the years, and have helped to move the process forward rapidly in the country.

Acknowledgements and Support

This workshop was an out from the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities project (MARPLASTICCs), generously supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).


SIDA logoPhoto: SIDA



For further information please email:

Lynn Sorrentino, Marine Programme Officer, at

Other Resources

IUCN’s Close the Plastic Tap programme


Please review the EPR reports as posted here:

IUCN Viet Nam news 2020 on EPR workshops with IUCN