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EU Commission confirms most cartridges covered under new WEEE directive

EU Commission confirms most cartridges covered under new WEEE directive

May 9, 2014

EU CommissionNew draft FAQ document outlines that most cartridges are covered under the new WEEE directive, despite lobbying by ETIRA.

ETIRA has called for its members to assess the national implementation of the new WEEE-2 directive after the EU Commission confirmed a final draft FAQ document in April 2014 which states that all cartridges requiring an electronic current are covered under WEEE-2, potentially resulting in major implications for remanufacturers across Europe.

ETIRA noted that while the FAQ is not a legal document, “it is likely that many Member States will follow the Commission[‘s] suggestion[s]”, which could create challenges for remanufacturers, including there being a “minimum volume of empty collection”; collection may be conducted “by special firms/bodies only”; and the “need to affix [a] ‘strike-through dustibin’ logo, and possible CE logo, on all cartridges”.

However, a positive could be that new business opportunities are generated due to less empties being sent to landfill, and so clone trade may also become more difficult.

It was emphasised by ETIRA that the impact of the new rules depends on how it is implemented at a national level, with the organisation expecting it “to be dealt with very differently from one Member State to the next”. The association therefore “strongly advise[s]” its members to “assess this matter at national/regional level and reach out to their local authorities to discuss the national implementation”.

British MEP Chris Davies questioned the Commission on the possible implications of WEEE inclusion in December; with a reply received from the EU’s Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, on 13 February stating: “[regarding] the continued viability of the remanufacturing sector, the end-user would in any case have the option to re-use the used cartridges instead of taking them to the WEEE collection points. Moreover, the WEEE Directive requires Member States to encourage the design and production of electrical and electronic equipment with a view to facilitate their re-use.”

The Recycler reported in March that ETIRA met with German regulator UBA, which is responsible for the WEEE directive, to discuss the implications of cartridges being placed under the
WEEE-2 directive; with the conclusion being that ETIRA would only find it acceptable for cartridges to be included under the condition that sufficient tools are in place to allow a full availability if empties.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : ETIRA Europe WEEE

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