WEEE exemplifies ‘triple win’ of recycling, says EU commissioner Vella

The waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) sector is a prime example of the triple-win produced by recycling, Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment at European Commission has said.

WEEE exemplifies ‘triple win’ of recycling, says EU commissioner Vella
Vella was delivering the keynote address at the WEEE Forum Conference in Malta last week (27 April), when he made the remarks, stating: “WEEE provides a prime example of why recycling efforts pay off; and it pays off for the environment, it pays off for industry, and it pays off in jobs.

“This industry is a prime example of why we need to move from waste management to resource management, and why we have to find circular solutions.”

31 WEEE producer responsibility organisations across Europe and Australasia met for two days last week for the fifth annual WEEE forum conference, hosted by WEEE Malta, laying out plans for a more sustainable e-waste sector.

The conference also marked the 15th anniversary of the WEEE Forum, which was set up in 2002 prior to the entry into force of the European Directive 2002/96/EC on WEEE, providing a platform for members to discuss key issues surrounding e-waste management and sharing ideas and best practice.

Discussions centred around three key environmental issues: Digitisation & Innovation, Circular Economy & Resource Efficiency and Extended Producer Responsibility.

Vice President of the forum and former CEO of REPIC, the UK’s largest WEEE producer compliance scheme, Philip Morton weighed in on the issue of producer responsibility, stating: “Legislation needs to ensure producers’ cost responsibility is clear and they have the legal right to approve collection points, collectors and recyclers of WEEE.”

Pascal Leroy, Secretary General of the WEEE forum, called for all EU member states to make the European standard (EN 50625) on collection, logistics and treatment of WEEE legally binding, following the example of France, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

All agreed that cooperation was needed among all WEEE stakeholders to reach the ‘extremely challenging’ collection target of 85 per cent of all WEEE generated by 2019, set by the EU’s WEEE Directive.

Members of the forum represent 31,000 liable producers of electrical appliances and are responsible for the collection, recycling and recovery of over 17 million tonnes of e-waste, including almost two thirds of Europe’s officially reported e-waste.

More information about the WEEE Forum Conference can be found on the event’s website.

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