Home Articles The WEEE Directive, What Does It Entail?

The WEEE Directive, What Does It Entail?

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WEEE is the abbreviated form for waste electrical and electrical equipment. The directive stipulates how people should dispose of electronic waste to reduce and eventually eliminate its impact on the environment. This refers to all types of electronic waste from appliances to batteries and cables. What is the end goal? You may wonder.

With the advancing technology, electrical products continue to dominate all around the world. More are still being developed. We have to dispose of most of these electronic equipment once they reach their end of life. The goal of the WEEE directive is to curb this world’s fast-growing waste and encourage the recycling of key materials used to make electronic equipment.

Where did the directive come from?

The truth is that the WEEE directive is not new. It has been around for more than 10 years. In the 1990s, the EU started looking for a way to ensure manufacturers took care of their waste.

Following that, the European Union made efforts to reduce the use of dangerous components e.g, mercury and lead in consumer products. It was at this point that electronic equipment waste came into play.

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As a result, the WEEE directive was formed to create regulations around the disposal of electronic equipment waste. It set targets for the collection, recycling, and recovery of electronic waste. The directive has been advancing since then.

In 2007, the WEEE directive stipulated that manufacturers and retailers be accountable for electronic waste. Today, the wee directive regulates the life cycle of electronic equipment across the European Union.

The idea behind the WEEE directive

This is how the WEEE directive works: manufacturers and retailers of electronic equipment are responsible for their life cycle from production to the end of their useful period. The regulation states that these entities must collect and recycle 65% of the products they release into the market. If producers and retailers don’t meet this target, they have to pay a fee that is instead used to boost recycling services.

On the other hand, there are compliance schemes that have made it easy for electronic equipment manufacturers to meet these targets. The compliance schemes have contracts with local governments to collect, weigh, recycle, and recover electronic equipment. They then report to environmental agencies about the quantity of electric waste collected from the retailers and local authorities.

Is it beneficial?

Yes, the WEEE directive has played a critical role in preserving a clean environment. The thing is, electrical products are in more use now than ever which only means more waste. Today, there are more collection points for electronic waste. This makes the recycling of precious materials possible.

There is less mining in the environment when precious materials are treated and reused. Additionally, more recycling means that these materials do not end up in landfills, hence less carbon emissions and cleaner air. It also reduces harm to the environment and surrounding communities and ultimately curbs climate change.

Final thoughts

The WEEE directive is an important step towards ensuring a habitable planet. It ensures the proper disposal of electronic waste by regulating the lifecycle of electrical products. The directive obliges manufacturers and retailers to collect, treat, and account for electrical waste.