EC proposes substances bans and recycling targets for “end of life” electrical and electronic goods

Proposals to ban several toxic chemicals and heavy metals from electrical and electronic goods as well as make manufacturers pay for collecting and recycling such goods when they reach "end of life", form part of EC draft legislation.

The European association representing the electrical and electronic goods industry, Orgalime, is concerned about the financial implications of the proposals. “We’ve been following this issue of ‘end of life’ goods since 1990 and it is a problem,” Patrick Knox-Peebles, secretary general of Orgalime told edie. “Obviously, the EC is best placed to deal with it but there will need to be compromises.”

“We’re certainly not satisfied with all the proposals,” said Knox-Peebles. “We hope that consultation will be adequate.”

A decision on the banning of specific hazardous substances will involve other ministries in addition the EC’s Environment Ministry. The draft legislation proposes banning a number of hazardous substances from electrical equipment. They are:

  • cadmium
  • lexavalent chromium
  • flame retardants
  • lead

The EC is considering a 70% target for the recycling of household appliances and electrical tools, with industry expected to contribute to the cost of recovery and recycling.

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