WEEE2 moves one step closer to becoming law after receiving approval from the European Parliament on the 19th January.
The man at the centre of the recast, rapporteur Karl-Heinz-Florenz commented "After difficult negotiations I am very satisfied that we have agreed ambitious but achievable collection rates with Council. Europe will now recover more raw materials, which is excellent news both for the economy and for the environment".
The changes will include the following:
Collection and recycling
The emphasis is on an ambitious increase in collection and recycling targets. By 2016 most Member States will have to collect 45 tonnes of e-waste for every 100 tonnes of EEE put on the market in the previous three years.
By 2019 this will change to a percentage – 65% of EEE put on the market in the previous three years OR 85% of e-waste generated (clarification of these definitions will be provided in the final text).
There are stepped measures for different Member States. Ten countries have been identified as needing to ‘improve their facilities’ so will have a smaller target of 40% and a longer timeframe (possibly up to 2021).
Consumers will be allowed to return ‘small items’ to certain electrical shops without the need to buy a new version.
The EU press release on recycling remains vague saying ‘Better processing will help to recover more valuable raw materials and prevent harmful substances going to landfill. Recycling rates will need to rise to 80% for some categories of goods. The best recycling techniques should be used and products should be designed to be recycled more easily.’ So at this stage, it is not clear how this will work in practice but the intention is clearly there.
Illegal e-waste exports
A very positive outcome to the recast was the increase in controls on illegal e-waste shipments. It will now become the responsibility of the exporters to prove the status of their shipment who must label and provide evidence if their goods are to be used for repair or reuse.
One of the key elements of the previous WEEE directive was the ‘producer pays’ philosophy. This will continue under WEEE2 but registration will be more simple as will reporting requirements. Producers will be able to appoint representatives in operating countries rather than having to have a legal presence. Finally, measures will be put in place to prevent double charging of registration fees within Member States.
The last step is for the European Council to formally approve the directive and it’ll be published in the Official Journal of the EU. From this point Member States will have 18 months to transpose into national law.
For more information and to see the EU press release, click here.
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