Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy principle that intends at increasing sustainability in several sectors as it has ecodesign as one of its main goals. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the EPR principle is unable to achieve this aim; the different causes of this failure have been reported in several pieces of research but the big picture is still missing. This paper presents an analysis of the issues preventing EPR from being an effective regulative pressure for European electrical and electronic producers and stimulating ecodesign as a consequence. A systematic literature review approach, supported by qualitative text analysis, has been used for extracting relevant information from the literature, and a set of four propositions have been made to represent emerging concepts. Results suggest that the main shortcomings are related to European regulation and also to the supply chain structure and divergent interests of the actors. Conclusions provide suggestions on how EPR policies and business models may evolve to support a sustainable transition in this sector.