WEEE gets reuse boost with best practice standard

The world's first certification scheme to promote the reuse of used and waste electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE & WEEE) has been launched this week.

Known as the PAS 141, it is hoped the standard will increase the levels of equipment reuse and cut down the amount of UEEE & WEEE illegally exported.

Chairman of the PAS 141 technical advisory committee Gary Griffiths said: “PAS 141 is a British first that leads the way in setting best practice standards on WEEE reuse. It will benefit consumers, business, government, regulators and reuse organisations.”

To achieve the standard, treatment facilities must undergo independent assessment by the United Kingdom Accreditation Scheme (UKAS) accredited certification bodies.

Certified businesses will register for the scheme by purchasing rights to use the official registered REEE mark, owned by BIS and administered by recycling consultancy Valpak.

The use of this mark will help consumers and industry to differentiate between organisations using processes in compliance with PAS 141 and those who are not.

PAS 141 aims to address a demand from consumers for reassurance that used apparatus is electrically safe to use and functionally fit for purpose.

Producers will also receive reassurance that their electrical safety and data protection liabilities and reputation will be protected after reuse.

In addition, PAS 141 will help regulatory agencies identify legitimate exports from illegal exports of WEEE under the guise of being sent abroad for reuse.

Overseas interest in the scheme is mounting and it is now being presented to the EU Standards Committee as the basis for a European-wide standard for reuse, in response to the mandate issued by the European Commission under the recent recast of the WEEE Directive.

Conor McGlone

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