New EU proposals on e-waste to help consumers recycle

The European Parliament's environment committee votes on measures designed to reduce e-waste

All but the smallest electronics retailers in Europe could soon be required to take back unwanted electronics under new measures aimed at reducing e-waste.

The European Parliament’s environment committee voted Tuesday for the proposals that include requiring retailers, including those online, to accept old laptops, computers, phones and other electronic devices, whether the customer has made a new purchase or not.

Currently, many shops are obliged to take old products back when a new replacement is purchased, but the proposed new rules, which have still to be formalized, would remove any need for the customer to make a new purchase. Parliamentarians say producers and consumers should bear the costs of e-waste, not the general taxpayer. But more should be done to cut out unnecessary administrative burdens and costs faced by companies.

European Union member states will also be expected to meet new targets in recycling larger electronic items. Depending on the category, the committee says 70 to 85 percent of e-waste should be recovered and 50 to 75 percent recycled. They propose a separate 5 percent reuse target so that more functional goods get a new lease of life instead of being scrapped.

"Collecting and recycling e-waste is good for the environment and good for the economy. Parliament's ambitious but achievable targets will help recover valuable raw materials and cut the flow of e-waste to landfills, incinerators and developing countries," said German parliamentarian Karl-Heinz Florenz.

The committee’s proposals, approved by 52 votes with only one against, will form part of the reform of the current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. A plenary vote before the whole Parliament is planned for January.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationlegislationenvironmentElectronics recycling

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?