New EU law clamps down on electronic waste

Retailers will be required to take back old electronic equipment

On Monday a European Union law that will require all large electronic retailers to take back old equipment came into force.

The new rules are part of a shake-up of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive and will gradually be implemented across the E.U. over the next seven years.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment, or WEEE, is one the fastest growing waste streams in the E.U., but currently only one-third of electrical and electronic waste is separately collected and appropriately treated. Systematic collection and proper treatment is essential for recycling materials like gold, silver, copper and rare metals in used TVs, laptops and mobile phones.

The revised directive will increase the collection target from its current 4 kilograms per capita to around 20 kg per capita by 2020. By 2020, it is estimated that the volume of WEEE will increase to 12 million tons and the E.U. authorities want to see at least 85 percent of that collected and treated. From 2018, the directive will be extended from its current restricted scope to all categories of electronic waste.

Meanwhile the retailer take-back plan means that by February 2014 at the latest, larger electrical goods stores, with a shop space of 400 square meters or larger, will have to accept small WEEE items, such as mobile phones, free of charge, without consumers having to purchase a new product.

The revised directive also includes a clampdown on illegal exports of waste electronic equipment. Equipment that is no longer under warranty can only be exported to non-OECD countries if it has been certified to be fully functional and sent properly.

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

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?