English Español 在中國
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR QUALITY CERTIFICATION

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR QUALITY CERTIFICATION

Notified Body number: 2549
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR QUALITY CERTIFICATION
EU product certification Notified Body 2549
ATEX
Harmonised Standards and Legislation
GPSD 2001/95/EC Services 2001/95/EC (Directive 92/59/EEC) The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)
Certification CE, the CE marking process. CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC) Internal Production Control
EU DIRECTIVE (European Union)
The Technical File (TF)
CE Certificate of Compliance
CE Marking Decision 768/2008/EC (93/68/EEC)
CE MARK CE Marking
The Keymark
CE Mark
RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2) 2002/95/EC Directive RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS Certificate of Compliance)
NEWS
Register of issued certificates
Contact
Sitemap

NEWS

 

Analysts slam EU's e-waste recast
Published: 02 March 2010
As the EU institutions discuss updating the bloc's 2003 electronic waste directive, researchers argue that the hasty recast ignores important topics, such as scarcity of some key raw materials, which have since climbed up the EU agenda.
There are many "pivotal issues" that are not under consideration in the recast of the EU directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), said Harri Kalimo, senior research fellow at the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
This is because "there are several elephants in the room," added Reid Lifset, a researcher at Yale University and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
Speaking at a workshop on extended producer responsibility for e-waste yesterday (1 March), Lifset said that the recast, launched in 2008, shies away from properly dealing with four important topics, on which there is a "real lack" of both substantial data and willingness to address the issues.

First, he said the recast fails to recognise "the ubiquity of WEEE shredding," noting that it is impossible to find out how much material is being recovered through shredding in developing countries, where most precious waste seems to end up.
Secondly, as more and more exotic new materials are being used to make ever-more sophisticated electronics, security of supply and resource scarcity issues related to WEEE should be considered in more detail, he said.
An expert group set up by the European Commission is currently screening a list of thirty-nine raw materials that are "potentially critical" for the EU economy and whose availability to industry could be threatened as global competition for natural resources intensifies (EurActiv 04/06/09, 01/12/09).
Furthermore, the "negative and positive cost of e-waste" is not being addressed properly, Lifset said. As Asian economies grow, a lot of secondary materials are becoming available at good prices, he said, arguing that there is little incentive to recycle mobile phones, for example, if they can be sold elsewhere.
Lastly, Lifset noted that knowledge is scarce on the flow of e-waste to developing countries, where it ends up thanks to "cherry picking" or dumping. He also stressed that WEEE is key to people's livelihoods in developing countries, but that there is little knowledge of actual reuse and material recovery streams there.
European Parliament hopes to address failings
Meanwhile, the European Parliament's environment committee last week published a draft report amending the Commission's proposed recast of the WEEE directive.
Presenting the draft, the committee's rapporteur, Karl-Heinz Florenz (European People's Party, Germany), acknowledged that the current WEEE directive has "more holes than emmental cheese". He described the rate of implementation of the directive, which stands at less than 1% in some member states, as "absolutely appalling", and urged the EU-27 to increase checks on WEEE exports so that European waste and raw materials are not shipped outside the bloc.
MEPs in the committee want to oblige e-waste exporters to submit evidence that the re-use, recycling and recovery of e-waste in the country of reception respects strict EU rules.
This would prevent developing countries from essentially becoming an e-waste dumping ground for Europe.
In addition to addressing loopholes in the international trade of WEEE, the draft report also recommends setting European standards for collection, recycling and treatment of WEEE and stresses that the loss of raw materials due to inappropriate recovery is a serious problem
 

WEEE recast should focus on WEEE system as a whole, says industry expert

Liz Gyekye
26 Feb 2010

The recast waste electrical and electronic equipment Directive targets should focus on the WEEE system as a whole instead of a small element of it, according to an industry expert.


Speaking to MRW, HP environmental compliance manager Dr Kirsty McIntyre said she welcomed what the European Committee and Parliament was trying to achieve with the targets but she said responsibility should be placed on the WEEE system as a whole and not just “focus on the small picture”.


She said the system filters down to retailers, municipal waste sites, social enterprise organisations and producer compliance schemes and not all responsibility should be placed on producers to help meet the WEEE targets. For example, she said producers could be made responsible for one portion of the target and retailers responsible for another bit of the target.


Her comments follow the publication of the long-awaited draft report from the European
Parliament’s Rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz. He outlined a 65% WEEE collection target for all member states by 2016. The new target is set at 65% of the average weight of products placed on the market in the three preceding years.


The recast Directive states that all member states should encourage “all stakeholders handling WEEE” to help achieve the aims of the Directive in order to avoid leakage of separately collected WEEE to “sub-optimal treatment and illegal exports”.


McIntyre said: “The 65% target is not so much the problem, although how they arrived at that figure is a mystery and seems to have been produced out of thin air.”


The target is calculated on what the producer sells on the market and the producer will have to retrieve that WEEE back.


She said it would be difficult for producers to retrieve that WEEE back. For example, she said that more HP customers were buying laptops rather than desktops and the average customer tends to keep their laptops for long periods of time - on average between seven to ten years.

McIntyre explained that because customers are not throwing away items such as laptops it would be difficult to retrieve that WEEE back and meet the targets (see MRW story).


“It is a laudable objective but I disagree with the method of achieving the objective to the point where it is almost encouraging people to discard of products that they would not do normally.”

She said if this target is carried through then “we are going to fail right from the start and going to fail miserably”.


McInytre’s comments come amid the publication of a report from the UN entitled Recycling –from e-waste to resources (February 22). The study suggests that the WEEE legislation alone is not stopping leakage of illegal WEEE outside the European Union.


She said the system could be tightened up by ensuring that leakage from household waste recycling centres to make sure it “does not get off that site”.


McIntyre continued: “There needs to be greater enforcement at municipal collection points and custom officials need to be able to distinguish between what genuine products for re-use and what is scrap. Producers could work on creating a check-list to help custom officials to distinguish between what is scrap or genuine re-use.”


Environment Agency policy officer Adrian Harding said that illegal operators of WEEE are being investigated. He added: “There are a number of investigations that are under way and we are hopeful that will conclude in prosecutions at the early part of this year.


“Everybody in the supply chain needs to take responsibility for their bit of the process, whether you are a bank or a retailer. For instance, if you are a bank giving away old computers to a contractor you have to make absolutely sure that it is being properly refurbished.”


 

 

eXTReMe Tracker
© 2010, International Center for Quality Certification. All rights reserved.
Made by web-design.lv