The Longerterm Perspective

In a long-term perspective EPR could be used with the purpose of shifting the present production and consumption systems towards more efficient metabolic processes. Some studies based on the concept of industrial ecology advocate this approach as a more coherent and holistic means towards achieving sustainability. This perspective implies radical changes in the production and consumption systems and in manufacturers'

mission. As will be noted below, certain companies have already proposed innovative strategies based on it.

The complexity of products' production and distribution systems suggested different strategies for different industrial sectors, but those strategies have the common objective to generate circular processes that allow for the re-use of products, components or materials. The initiatives proposed in this chapter can be divided into two different approaches. The first approach consists in the internalization of the procedures that allow for a better control over the products' life cycle. This is possible when companies retain the products' ownership and provide their clients with the service value (of utilization) of their products. The second approach consists in the creation of a symbiotic network of different companies, in which the value of end-of-life products and material is amplified, in order to make their recovery and renovation, remanufacturing or recycling easier.

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