Two of the most powerful arms of the EU have criticised proposed modifications by the European Council to the re-cast of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.
German MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz was appointed to report on the Council’s decision by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
He criticised moves to reduce the Parliament’s proposed 85% WEEE collection goal to a target of 45% of annual WEEE weight put on to the market in the member state four years after the legislation arrives, rising to 65% four years afterwards.
In his report, Florenz said: “Manufacturers cannot be made responsible for efforts to achieve the collection rate targets, since they have no influence on other actors who collect WEEE. A manufacturer is not a legal person who can meet an overall collection rate target.
“The collection rate should be established on the basis of the amount of waste arising and not on the basis of the irrelevant factor of the number of new appliances.”
Instead, the report supports the Parliament’s original position, which stated that “each member state shall ensure that as of 2016 a minimum of 85% of WEEE generated on its territory is collected” and called for a 5% re-use target.
A subsequent report from the European Commission - the body which proposed the re-cast in the first place - has also criticsed the Council’s proposals for a 65% target eight years after the directive’s entry into force. It warned that “compared to the Commission proposal, this implies a delay of about four years”.
It went on: “In view of the need to act decisively in favour of increased resource efficiency and access to secondary raw materials, it is important to keep an ambitious collection target both as regards the level and the moment of entry into force.”
The report warned that not all of the Council’s changes are “consistent with the objectives of the Commission’s proposal. Therefore, the Commission can not accept the Council’s position in its entirety.”
However, sources close to the European Commission have told MRW that this such criticism is a “fairly standard formulation” and that the second reading stage and the concilliation stage offer“plenty of time and scope for compromises”.
The report is now scheduled for adoption in a European Parliament committee in October, while the second reading of the proposal will take place in the parliament in January 2012.