E-Waste legislation changes


This year the EU has been updating the WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) legislation originally formulated nearly a decade ago. The reason for the update is largely to do with the fact that even with existing legislation, only one third of e-waste was being optimally treated.
The new legislation aims to increase the amount of e-waste that is properly treated, and to reduce the volume that goes to landfill. With rare metals now increasingly scarce, e-waste is also now being recast as a resource in its own right.
The EU commission therefore wishes to set mandatory targets for collection of 65% of all electrical equipment placed in the market place (in the previous two years).
Ecycling and E-Waste Companies (such as All Electrical Recycling Ltd in Belfast) will of course be facilitating producers, retailers and consumers reach these targets in any way they can. But it is intersting to note that in places outside of the EU such as Switzerland a mandatory return without a purchase obligation policy results in much higher collection rates. In other words, appropriately framed legislation can often drive collection and therfore recycling rates in addition to targets per se.
This makes sense. Consumers probably feel that having a designated drop-off point for their laptops, phones, fridges tv's etc, relieves them of their eco-responsibility. The burden of mandatory return, and its ultimate feelgood reward, probably is less than perpetual ruminations as to the end result of their electrical equipment.
Should not the EU then think along these lines?

kieran mcnally

Topics: edie
Tags: | tv | WEEE
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