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WEEE recast edges closer

The Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) recast has edged closer to becoming law after backing from the European Council of Ministers.

The recast is expected to be rubber-stamped with formal publication in the Official Journal over the summer after which each member state will have 18 months to transpose it.

European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, tweeted: “Council finally adopted the WEEE recast today – should see 85% of waste electronic equipment recycled in 2020. In EU, 20kgs per person!”

The recast says:

  • From when the recast is adoped (presumably mid 2012) until 1 January four years later (ie 1 January 2016), the collection target will be either a minimum 4kg per capita or an average kg per capita collected over the prior three years, whichever is larger. For the UK that might mean a target of 7kgs or more, depending on how this is interpreted
  • Four years after the recast is adopted (January 2016 onwards), this will change to a collection rate of 45% by weight, based on the average weight of EEE placed on the market in that Member Sate the three years previously
  • Looking beyond January 2016 to January 2019, the target gradually increases until it reaches the final target of either 65% based on EEE put on the market or 85% of WEEE generated

Last month, ministers called for evidence on the cost of complying with the WEEE directive following electronic companies raising concerns about the compliance costs.

A report said in January that electricals producers were paying £50m more for the recovery of their products than the process actually cost.

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills committed earlier this year to consulting on the prevention of excessive WEEE compliance costs.

Interested parties have until 23 July to submit evidence. The Government will then develop proposals for consultation early next year.

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