Europe votes to broaden e-waste recycling effort

Members of the European Parliament have strongly supported ambitious plans to extend the coverage of the EU’s 2002 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive.

The European Parliament has called on member states to collect at least 85% of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) generated each year by 2016.

In a plenary vote held in Brussels on 3 February, the parliament also called for the 2002 WEEE Directive’s scope to be extended to a wider range of products, and make producers more responsible for the costs of collection and disposal.

Revision of the directive has been under way for several years, with calls to greatly increase recycling targets and arguments over whether these are achievable (ENDS Report 415, p 46). At present, member states must collect four kilograms of waste per citizen per year, and only certain goods are covered. National reports indicate that only about a third of Europe’s electronic waste is recycled; more than half is exported and some landfilled.

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