Closing Material Loops through Extended Producer Responsibility: Phase 2 of Implementing the Waste Management Code in Georgia

The Government of Georgia has committed to introducing an effective waste management system in order to increase the collection and recycling rate and reduce the proportion of landfilled materials. The principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an important approach for achieving this goal. This principle obliges producers to bear the financial and/or physical responsibility for the proper handling and disposal of their products and is mandatory since December 2019 under the Waste Management Act.

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the NGO Georgia's Environmental Outlook (GEO), adelphi supports the government of Georgia in the introduction of EPR for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste). In the first phase  of the project, adelphi was responsible for developing proposals on the overarching EPR scheme and carried out a study on the financial feasibility of WEEE recycling in Georgia. As a result, a bylaw was developed regulating the implementation of measures for the management of WEEE by means of EPR.

In the second phase of the project, adelphi supports the finalisation of this bylaw as well as the establishment of a compliance service producer (Producer Responsibility Organisation, or PRO in short) in the e-waste sector. Furthermore, together with GEO, adelphi prepares an inventory of informal actors in the field of WEEE recycling and identifies their needs through surveys in order to strengthen the capacities and the formalisation of the sector. In addition, adelphi carries out awareness-raising workshops to educate informal workers about the health and environmental hazards caused by the improper disposal of WEEE. adelphi also supports the Georgian Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, especially regarding the employees of a helpdesk hotline responsible for the communication with companies and the public concerning WEEE.