Standards on the collection, logistics and treatment requirements for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) should be mandatory for all treatment facilities in the EU, according to the WEEE Forum.
Its president Jan Vlak told a meeting that most member states were unlikely to meet the EU’s 65% WEEE collection target.
Illegal practices such as scavenging led to the loss of raw materials and release of hazardous substances, and up to two-thirds of WEEE was not being reported as properly collected and treated, he said.
Vlak said the EN 50625 standards for WEEE treatment should be made mandatory for all treatment facilities in the EU to create a level playing field, while treatment of WEEE outside the EU should take place in equivalent conditions.
The forum has said that adherence to EN 50625 would provide assurance that WEEE is collected, transported and treated in compliance with the directive on handling the material.
EU member states such as the Netherlands, Ireland and France have made the standards legally binding and made the whole value chain responsible for compliance, he said.