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Electronics Production | January 20, 2012

New e-waste targets set for the EU

The EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation has been updated and new targets set for recycling of electronics.
According to the european parliament website, once Council formally approves the update member states will have 18 months to update their national legislation.

"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", said rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP, DE).

Following formal approval, the new targetswill apply to all member states, even if they meet the current flat-rate target of 4kg per person per year. ”By 2016, most will have to collect 45 tonnes of e-waste for every 100 tonnes of e-goods put on sale three years previously..

By 2019, this must rise to a rate of 65%, or alternatively they can collect a comparable figure of 85% of e-waste generated. Ten countries needing to improve their facilities will have an interim target of 40% and may take until 2021 to reach the final target,” said teh european parliament website.

Consumers will now be allowed to return small items to any larger electrical goods shop, without needing to buy a new product.

E-waste exports

Tighter controls on illegal shipments were also negotiated in an effort to stop the processing of e-waste in developing countries where conditions can be hazardous for workers. ”The burden of proof moves from customs officials to exporters, who must properly demonstrate in future that goods are being shipped for repair or reuse as appropriate,” said the website.

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