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Extended Producer Responsibility for Closing Material Loops: Lessons from energy-efficient lighting products

  • Jessika Luth Richter
Publishing year: 2016-11-30
Language: English
Document type: Licentiate thesis
Publisher: Lund University

Abstract english

The transition to a low-carbon economy requires enabling technologies including energy-efficient lighting products. It is increasingly recognized that a sustainable economy is not only low-carbon and energy efficient, but also resource efficient. Previous research has highlighted the importance and need for increased collection and recycling of lamps, to reduce mercury emissions, to avoid unnecessary negative environmental impacts, and to recover the critical materials they contain. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies aim to address these issues by promoting collection and recycling of waste products, closing material loops and providing ecodesign incentives. This licentiate thesis contributed to EPR research with detailed knowledge about the performance of EPR policies for energy-efficient lamps in Europe. Using a theory-based evaluation approach, both the performance in relation to EPR goals as well as challenges perceived by key stakeholders, were analyzed. Factors contributing to high operational performance and best practices in the Nordic countries were identified, as well as the areas for further improvement.
The research also examined opportunities and barriers for closing critical material loops from this waste stream and found that EPR policies have been an important enabler for development of commercial scale recycling of rare earth elements (REE) from waste lamp phosphors in Europe. It is argued that both wider adoption and improved performance of EPR systems are necessary to increase potential secondary supply of REE from this waste stream. However, the feasibility of recycling REE is also dependent on complex considerations of value and contextual factors such as competition with primary supply, material prices, and markets for recycled materials. The value of waste lamps is further mapped and examined from different stakeholder perspectives. These considerations of value are discussed in the context of prior and future EPR research.


Internationella miljöinstitutet (IIIEE), Tegnersplatsen 4, Lund
  • Harri Kalimo (Professor)


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Extended Producer Responsibility
  • recycling
  • fluorescent lighting
  • waste management
  • Policy Evaluation
  • LEDs
  • WEEE Directive


  • Thomas Lindhqvist
  • Naoko Tojo
  • ISBN: 978-91-87357-26-8
Jessika Luth Richter
E-mail: jessika_luth [dot] richter [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

Doctoral student

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

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+46 72 944 22 97



International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

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