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    Imposing EPR for End-of-Life Medicines and Batteries

    By Keith R | May 31, 2007

    Topics: Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Protection, Hazardous Substances, Pharmaceutical Issues, Waste & Recycling | No Comments »

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    Back in April, Colombian Environment Minister Juan Lozano promised proposals for mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) regimes for expired medicines and end-of-life (EOL) lead-acid batteries. Earlier this month he made good on that promise: the Environment Ministry (Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo TerritorialMAVDT) has published for public comment two draft decrees, one on medicines, the other on lead-acid batteries and accumulators.

    Common Elements

    The two proposals share many elements in common, namely:

    Important Diffetrences

    There are key differences, however. One involves scope: the draft medicines decree would also make producers/importers responsible for medicine packaging and labels by defining them as “an integral part of the product.”

    Another involves the recovery targets. The regime for lead-acid batteries and accumulators is relatively simple: by 2010 90% by weight must be recovered in all of Colombia, rising to 95% by 2012. The expired medicines targets are more complex:

    A third major difference is the emphasis on recycling: it is not really an option for medicines, but for the lead-acid batteries and accumulators, MAVDT wants recycling of all their components to be top priority.

    A fourth difference involves waste prevention, reduction and minimization: only the decree on batteries calls for producers/imports to propose strategies to minimize/reduce the wastes caused by their EOL products, and to “rationalize their design” and the selection of materials and packaging in order to minimize waste generation.

    Input Wanted

    If you wish to submit comments on either proposal, you have until 15 June to email them to for the medicines proposal, or for the battery proposal, or mail a print version of your comments to

    Dr. César Augusto Buitrago
    Director, Dirección de Desarrollo Sectorial Sostenible
    Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial
    Calle 37 No. 8-40
    Edificio Anexo segundo piso

    MAVDT asks that your coimments follow the format found in this document.

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