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Hewlett Packard calls on Government to back IPR

The Government should place more emphasis on individual producer responsibility (IPR) to enable electrical manufacturers to increase the recycled material content used in their products, according to Hewlett Packards (HP) head of takeback compliance.

Speaking at the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into waste reduction evidence session, Dr Kirstie McIntyre, said that HP supports the concept of IPR in electronic waste legislation, an approach that makes producers responsible for recycling their own products once they have been collected. Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive producers have a shared responsibility to provide recycling facilities for their products, and have an option to do this collectively or individually.

McIntyre said: There has been no practical implementation of IPR across Europebut we have seen this implemented in other countries such as Japan.

She said that electrical manufactures in Japan have been able to increase the recycled content used in their products because they have an effective IPR system.

There are plenty of materials being collected by local authorities but they are mixed and the economics of un-mixing them render them impossible to do anything with them later on. We at HP believe that IPR can provide one of the answers to un-mixing the bag of mixed materials that we get and enable us to create a closed loop solution, which feed the materials we use in our products, added McIntyre.

However, McIntyre said that IPR may not apply to all electrical products. We may have to be selective in which particular product types we are looking at to implement these systems because they do not fit for everything and will not be mandatory for every manufacturer.
We believe the law should allow us to jump in there and develop our systems which currently UK law does not allow us to do.

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