Council steps up collection and recycling targets for waste electrical and electronic equipment
8 Jun 2012 10:55 AM
The Council adopted a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (PE-CONS 2/12), which aims to improve collection, re-use and recycling of used electronic devices so as to contribute to the reduction of waste and to the efficient use of resources. It also seeks to limit illegal exports of such waste from the EU and to improve the environmental performance of all operators involved in the life cycle of EEE, e.g. producers, distributors and consumers.
Four years after the entry into force of the present directive, member states must collect annually 45% of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment placed on their national markets. Three years later, member states are to achieve a 65% collection rate. Some EU states where consumers use fewer electronic devices may achieve the targets with some flexibility.
The Council also widened the scope of the legislation in order to cover in principle all electric and electronic equipment, such as photovoltaic panels, equipment containing ozone-depleting substances and fluorescent lamps containing mercury, which will have to be collected separately and properly treated six years after the entry into force of this legislation. The Commission can propose changes after analysing the impact of the open scope on businesses and on the environment.
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