The European Recycling Platform (ERP) started take-back and recycling operations for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in four European countries on August 13 - the original date for the WEEE directive to come into play in the EU.
In the UK, full implementation of the WEEE directive was put back to June 2006. The UK was therefore among five European countries that fall under the scope of the ERP but have yet to implement their schemes. The others are France, Germany, Italy and Poland.
ERP is a European compliance scheme that was set up at the end of 2002 by Braun, Electrolux, HP and Sony in order to offer cost effective implementation of the WEEE directive and open up pan-European recycling services. It claims to be the first scheme to pass on the advantages of multinational logistic and recycling operations to the consumer.
Several producers have signed up to the scheme, including Elica, Logitech, Lucent, Omron, Saeco, Samsung, Toshiba and Varta/Remington. ERP president Hans Korfmacher said: "We are continuously in contact with many other producers interested in contracting with ERP."
The platform will cover products that its partners put on the market, such as large white goods (Electrolux), small household appliances (Braun), and consumer electronics and IT (HP, Sony). It initially plans to cover products from any manufacturer, and plans to eventually cover only branded products.