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Brussels looks to boost WEEE reuse

The European Commission (EC) is considering broadening the targets for WEEE to put more emphasis on reuse.

MRW exclusive

A review is underway in Brussels and the commission says it will be seeking feedback and information from the sector.

Maria Banti, from the EC’s Waste Management Unit, told delegates at the recent Bureau of International Recycling convention in Paris that contractors had been appointed to carry out a study. Researchers include the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.

Banti said the review had three tasks:

  • to re-examine ‘recovery’ targets
  • to assess the possibility of setting separate targets for WEEE to be prepared for reuse
  • to re-examine calculation methods

The possibility of such a review was included in the 2012 WEEE directive which said: “On the basis of a report of the commission…, the European Parliament and the council shall, by 14 August 2016, re-examine the recovery targets referred to in Annex V, Part 3, examine the possibility of setting separate targets for WEEE to be prepared for reuse and re-examine the calculation method.”

The current method for calculating targets, for each product category, is to divide the weight of WEEE that enters a facility, after proper treatment, by the weight of all separately collected WEEE for each category, expressed as a percentage.

Existing targets for WEEE, as part of the recast directive, require a minimum collection target of 45% of products placed on the market from 2016 and 65% from 2019. 

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