New rules to tighten handling of e-waste
The European Commission has published a re-cast of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which requires Member States to tighten their rules on the collection and treatment of e-waste. The Directive sets a number of increasingly stringent collection targets and provides stronger tools to the Member States (MS) to fight illegal shipment of WEEE more effectively. It is being seen as a significant development for waste management within Europe and a major boost in the drive towards resource efficiency. Read more...
The WEEE Directive, launched in 2003, facilitates the creation of collection schemes where consumers return e-waste free-of-charge. The intention is to safeguard human health and the environment from hazardous substances contained in WEEE, and to promote greater recycling.
The re-cast Directive (Directive 2012/19/EU), which entered into force in August 2012, introduces from 2016 a collection target of 45% of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) placed on the market in the three preceding years in the MS concerned. As a second step from 2019, it sets a target of 65% of the average weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years or alternatively 85% of WEEE generated on the territory of that MS. MS will be able to choose which one of these two equivalent ways to measure the target they wish to report.
From 2018, the scope of the Directive will be extended to all EEE meeting the relevant definition and not included in the exceptions. The new Directive also aims to combat the illegal export of WEEE by obliging exporters to test whether used EEE works or not, and provide documents on the nature of shipments. At the same time, the Directive will reduce the administrative burden on MS by harmonising national registration and reporting requirements. MS will be required to amend their existing WEEE legislation to align it with the new targets by 14 February 2014 at the latest.
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