About the WEEE directive
The generation of WEEE is expected to increase considerably in the near future. Estimations indicate that the amount will double in little more than 10 years. Electrical and electronics equipment consist of a complex mixture of components and materials. To prevent environmental problems when the products are about to be scrapped the end of life treatment aims at limiting the amount of waste going to final disposal, for example through materials recycling.
The proposed EU Directive on WEEE places an obligation on the producers of electronic and electrical equipment to take-back 'end-of-life' or waste products free of charge in an effort to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfills.
A sister Directive, ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), complements the WEEE Directive by banning the presence of specific hazardous substances in products at the design phase.
The objective of the directive is to harmonize the current management of WEEE and address the environment problems associated with the current methods for the treatment and disposal. It aims to contribute to the harmonisation of national measures on the management of WEEE in order to ensure the function of the internal market. Objectives include:
The other important objective of the WEEE directive is to promote the environmental design of products through the individual producer responsibility.
The directive is addressed to EU member states. Business will have to comply with national legislation implementing the measures. The directive outlines a series of measures for manufacturers/producers, including measures on the separate collection of WEEE, the treatment of WEEE and the recovery of such waste. Manufacturers/producers involved will have to:
What is the financial responsibility for manufacturers/producers in respect to the collection of waste from private households to municipal collection points?
Producers are not responsible for the collection of waste from private households. The producer's responsibility begins at the municipal collection points. For electrical and electronic equipment not used by private households, the financing of the waste management will need to be agreed between the producer and the user of the equipment at the time of purchase.
Member States were supposed to transpose the WEEE Directive into national law by 13th August 2004, including:
The financial responsibility of producers is effectiveonce the national implementation enters in force in most cases after a short period of transition.
Local implementation dates differ country by country. Please refer to local web pages.
How should manufacturers/producers handle waste management for products sold before entry into force of the legislation?
In order to give producers the necessary time to comply with the obligations, especially regarding the management of waste from products put on the market before entry into force of the legislation (historical waste), a transition period of 5 years after the entry into force of the directive is granted. Producers' responsibility will come into effect in September 2005. For products sold before September 2005, producers are jointly responsible for the recycling.
The WEEE Directive will allow consumers to dispose of electronic and electrical equipment for recycling free of charge. Waste management costs will be integrated in the product price at the time of purchase.
Braun, Electrolux, HP and Sony favour the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility within the WEEE Directive, to promote the sustainable production of electronic and electrical goods.
The Electrolux Group is the world's largest producer of powered appliances for kitchen. More information is available at http://www.electrolux.com.
Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. More information is available at http://www.sony-europe.com.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. More information is available at http://www.hp.com
Procter & Gambleis composed of 3 different business units: beauty and grooming, household care and health and well being. Among its brands, stand out Duracell for batteries and Braun for household appliances.
ERP Coordination Office
Viale Assunta, 101 – 20063 Cernusco sul Naviglio (MI) - Italy
Phone: (+39) 02 9214 7479