Ecovalor - Compliance fees associated to the management of specific waste streams

The " Ecovalor - Compliance fees associated to the management of specific waste streams" fact sheet presents the global and the specific stream view of the financial benefit amounts paid by producers per ton of products placed on the domestic market. It also itemises the investments, globally and per specific stream, in awareness-raising and communication and in research and development.

One of the objectives of the integrated environmental policy is the attribution of total or partial, physical and/or financial responsibility to the producer for the environmental impacts associated with the corresponding products, namely those resulting from the production process and the subsequent use of the product, and those associated with product management when it reaches the end of its life cycle.

The life cycle of a given material usually comprises five phases: raw material (resource), production (product), trading, consumption and management as waste.

In practice, producer accountability, which translates into the obligation to take back and recover materials and comply with quantified reuse/recycling targets, encourages him to change the design of his product. Such strategy normally has an impact on the eco-efficiency of products (use of smaller quantities of raw material or use of recyclable / recycled materials, among others), as well as in its eco-design (easier to dismantle or recycle, hazardous substances, among others).

Furthermore, producer accountability has the advantage of triggering a chain reaction, throughout the production-trade-consumption-post-consumption cycle, in which every player passes on some of his responsibility to the next player in the chain.

The producer’s responsibility can be assumed individually or through the establishment of an integrated system. As an essential part of this latter system, specific waste stream management entities were created, which allow the creation of very specific interfaces between the different players in the product life cycle (product producer, product retailer/distributor, waste producer, waste management operator) for the pursuit of common objectives. In this case, the producer/importer transfers responsibility for the management of the specific waste stream to these management entities, by paying a fee per product placed in the market (ecovalor).

These compliance fees are charged by the management entities to the producers/importers in order to cover the costs necessary for correctly managing the products placed on the market when they reach their end-of-life, including the selective collection, pre-treatment, recovery and disposal of waste.

It is important to note that the costs associated with the management of the different kinds of waste in question may vary depending on the characteristics in question, whether they have a greater or lesser commercial value when sent as secondary raw materials, or depending on the logistics associated with the models for collecting them, therefore, the comparison between the compliance fees applied for the different flows must take into account the referred context.

The producers/importers, through management entities, are also obliged to invest minimum amounts in awareness-raising and communication actions involving the various players, as well as in research and development projects, amounts which are also reflected in the compliance fees (ecovalor).

These are the basic reasons why, in recent years, both at national and EU level, we have witnessed the emergence of integrated waste management systems, and why, in our country, those are already materialised for the following specific waste streams: Packaging and Packaging Waste, Used Oils, Used Tyres, Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste, End-of-Life Vehicles and Batteries and Accumulators Waste.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal, the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • To bear the necessary costs for correct management of products placed on the market when they reach their end of life, including separate collection, pre-treatment, recovery and disposal of waste - through financial payments (ecovalor), charged to the producers by the management entities.
  • To promote awareness-raising and communication campaigns, as well as research and development projects.
Progress analysis:
Last update: 
Wednesday, 18 August, 2021