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© WWF-Malaysia

For decades, waste management has always been the responsibility of the public and government. However, this system needs further involvement and support to make it more efficient. WWF has identified the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme as a critical policy tool with a track record in holding manufacturers accountable for the end-of-life impacts of their plastic products and packaging, as well as encouraging holistic eco-design in the business sector.

The scheme requires governments to enact the EPR guidelines and regulations which require producers to ensure a clean and healthy environment. This begins from product concept and design, to the main production and distribution, and ends at the collection phases. Under the EPR scheme, the responsibility of the manufacturer goes beyond waste treatment and recycling. It starts right at the beginning, from rethinking and redesigning product and packaging designs to reduce waste.

Our work on the EPR involves promoting and enhancing the adoption of EPR schemes, reducing plastic leakage into nature, and helping to deliver a circular economy.

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In further considering that not only are the impacts of pollution resulting from the leakage of plastics into nature transboundary, but also the global nature of our plastics economy, it is not sufficient to only have national and regional measures. A range of varying measures, both voluntary and binding are much needed.  At the apex of these, a new legally binding global treaty will help provide a more holistic approach in transitioning towards plastics sustainability.

A new global treaty can help close the tap on problematic or unnecessary plastics, close the loop by facilitating the transition towards a circular plastics economy, and help address and stop leakage through downstream and waste recovery measures.

  1. Closing the tap - Globally accepted ban on selected product types which are problematic and unnecessary can help reduce the risk of these products entering countries through global trade
  2. Closing the loop - Common standards and definitions can help transition towards circular plastics economy
  3. Stopping and addressing leakage - Technology transfer in better handling of waste or recycling technologies can help reduce leakage into the environment. Also, as almost 70% of our oceans are beyond any national jurisdiction but are subject to plastic pollution, efforts to address and monitor this are essential.

In March 2022, the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution which establishes a mandate for countries to begin negotiations for a new global treaty to address plastic pollution, taking a life cycle approach.

As Malaysia is not only a mega biodiverse region, but also home to a thriving plastics economy, we have much to gain from actively participating in global discussions and negotiations towards shaping a new global treaty to end  plastic pollution. WWF-Malaysia seeks to actively engage with stakeholders to raise awareness on areas of global and national concerns.


  1. EPR Position Paper - Learn More 
  2. EPR Factsheet - Learn More 
  3. 15 Basic Principles for EPR - Learn More 
  4. Study on EPR Scheme Assessment for Packaging Waste in Malaysia Report - Learn More 
  5. WWF-Malaysia EPR Policy Review Booklet - Learn More 
  6. Going Circular: EPR Guide (A self-paced EPR Mass Open Online Course) - Learn More