New WEEE Directive
Published: 17 Aug 2012
The European Parliament has passed a new Directive 2012/19/EU, on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), in a bid to stop the dumping of electronic goods such as mobile phones, computers and TV sets at landfill sites.
From 2016, Member States will have to collect 45% of the average weight of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) placed on the market in the three preceding years. From 2019 this target rises to 65% of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years, however Member States can opt to collect 85% of the total WEEE generated in their territory.
The new WEEE Directive builds on the work started by Directive 2002/96/EC, on the same subject, which it will revoke and replace on 15 February 2014. It places an obligation on large shops selling electrical goods to accept small WEEE items from customers, such as mobile phones, even if the customers do not buy a replacement. With big items such as washing machines and fridges, the manufacturers will be responsible for the recycling.
In addition, exporters will be required to provide proper documentation for goods being shipped for repair or re-use. Hopefully this will prevent illegal shipments of WEEE to poorly equipped developing countries.