/ Law for Promotion of Recycling sets new standard in the matter of waste

29 July, 2016

This law focuses on the prevention and valuation of waste in all their aspects

The new Framework Law on the Management of waste, Extended Producer Liability and Recycling Promotion was published on June 1, 2016. This important regulation, whose central premise is that “every waste that may acquire value must be used for that purpose and its disposal prevented”, gradually incorporates new obligations for producers, importers, exporters, waste generators and public institutions such as Municipalities and the Superintendence for the Environment, among others. In addition, it defines a catalog of priority products that will receive special treatment where the producer, understood in the broad sense set forth in the law, must observe a series of additional provisions. The new law also establishes a waste management system, the achievement of goals and education, among other norms.

The new law establishes the obligations for producers to organize and finance the management of waste derived from their products. The norm centers on the prevention and valuation of waste in all their aspects, providing that all producers, sellers or importers of priority products must take responsibility for their products upon the end of their service life. That is, these unusable products must be dealt with in order to gradually reduce their generation, while their recycling and other appreciation ways are stimulated to protect people’s health and the environment in the long term.

The priority products are:

  • lubricating oils
  • electric and electronic devices
  • electrical energy accumulators
  • batteries
  • containers and packaging materials
  • tires

Additionally, the law creates the Extended Producer Liability (Responsabilidad Extendida del Productor, REP), recognizes the existing environmental laws on waste management and stipulates new waste management areas under the Ministry for the Environment:

  • certification, tagging and labelling
  • deposit and reimbursement system
  • ecological design
  • mechanisms for separation at the source and selective picking
  • mechanisms for rational waste management
  • mechanisms to prevent the generation of waste


The main obligations of producers and/or importers of priority products are:

  • To be registered in the public register of businesses and/or manufacturers.
  • To organize and finance the collection and treatment of products gathered by means of a management system.
  • To guarantee that the treatment of those waste is made by authorized personnel.
  • To attain the collection and appreciation goals for these products.

Those who produce priority products must manage and finance the collection of waste considered to be priority products, through an authorized operator. Likewise, municipalities may also cooperate with the subscription of contracts for separation at the source, selective picking, etc. In addition, municipalities shall promote environmental care education focusing on prevention and valuation, design and implement communication and awareness strategies and develop prevention measures. Base recyclers will be given a special definition recognizing them as managers for the Law on Recycling Promotion. In addition, they must register in order to participate for a five year term and they must also certify themselves under the National System for the Certification of Labor Competencies.

The Ministry for the Environment must issue, among several decrees, a set of regulations to define the procedure to authorize specific goals and will also implement and manage a registration system together with an information platform. In addition, it must also review and authorize management plans, design and implement environmental education programs, and supervise through the Superintendence for the Environment (Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente, SMA), among other matters. Likewise, the SMA is given authority to supervise and penalize offenses with fines and written warnings.

REP: Obligations of the Ministry for the Environment towards REP implementation:

  1. Prepare regulations on the procedure to issue decrees involving goals.
  2. Prepare REP decrees, with goals for priority products.
  3. Implement and administer a registration system and an information platform (will be a part of RETC).
  4. Prepare regulations on the recycling fund and manage its implementation.
  5. Prepare regulations on cross‑border transportation of waste.
  6. Review and authorize management plans.
  7. Design and implement environmental education programs.


For additional information, please contact Joaquín Vicuña, Alessandri Associate Attorney.