October 12, 2022
The EU 2012 WEEE Directive on waste from electrical and electronic equipment seeks to protect the environment and human health, contributes to sustainable production and consumption, and ensure efficient use of resources by preventing and recovering waste. On 6 October, the EU launched an online public consultation, open until 3 November, to evaluate its progress and assess whether the objectives are met and to what extent it supports a circular economy and environmentally sound management of WEEE, see here:
Supported by several EU studies, ETIRA has always argued that in terms of promoting cartridge reuse the WEEE is dysfunctional. Member States can reach the generic reuse / recycling percentage targets set under the WEEE without a single cartridge being reused. That’s why cartridges need to get their own WEEE reuse target. Also, WEEE implementation is very different across EU Member States. Environment-friendly cartridge reuse is made impossible as operators are confronted by a plethora of different and often outright contradictory rules and definitions and classifications of used cartridges. And for cartridges, the article 4 WEEE prohibition of specific design features or manufacturing processes that prevent WEEE from being re-used (eco-design) is a farce because all cartridges on the EU market today have such illegal features. In addition, enforcement of WEEE compliance by national market surveillance authorities is often fully absent: imports of polluting single-use newbuild cartridges from the Far East by rogue traders without any registration in national WEEE registers and containing illegal chemicals are rampant in most EU countries. ETIRA will voice these concerns in the consultation and suggest you do the same.