Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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CEE leads the way in collecting Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Newly released data from Eurostat show that 24 out of 27 Member States fail to collect sufficient Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) separately and therefore do not reach the EU target of 65 per cent collection.

Consequently, up to 4.8 million tonnes of WEEE are still improperly disposed of every year (for example, into nature, residual waste streams or illegal exports) and are lost for reuse and recycling.

To lead the way are all countries from Central and Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland and Estonia. On the other hand, Romania is the country that collected the lowest amounts of e-waste.

Source: Eurostat.

Thus, environmental NGOs are calling to fundamentally re-regulate the handling of electrical appliances.

“Eurostat data show that way too many electronics end up in landfills across Europe,” said Fanny Rateau, Programme Manager at the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS). “The European Commission must overhaul the rules for electronic waste and put an end to the e-waste tsunami. The key to making electronics circular lies in their design phase. Electronics must be conceived from the start as long-lasting, toxic-free and easy to repair.”

“While addressing WEEE lack of proper collection scheme is indeed a priority, we cannot forgo discussing the growing source of waste namely the digitalisation of everything and the resulting risk of exponential resource use and e-waste generation,” added Stéphane Arditi, Director for Policy Integration and Circular Economy at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). “Reducing unnecessary consumption of gadgets should also be a priority.”

Additionally, minimum quality standards to improve e-waste recycling, collection, logistics and preparation for reuse are urgently required.

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