International Association of Electronic Waste Producer Responsibility Organisations
Tackling the e-waste challenge
Tackling the e-waste challenge
According to the UN, in 2021 each person on the planet will produce on average 7.6 kg of e-waste, meaning that a massive 57.4 million tonnes will be generated worldwide. Only 17.4 per cent of this electronic waste containing a mixture ofharmful substances and precious materials will be recorded as being properly collected, treated and recycled.
Many initiatives are taken to tackle this growing concern, but none of them can be fully effective without the active role and correct education of consumers. This year’s International E-Waste Day will focus on the crucial part each of us has in making circularity a reality for e-products.
After nearly two decades since the creation of EU legislation on WEEE and despite huge effort and advancement, most Member States have not reached the WEEE collection targets.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research highlights in its latest study the factors that impede formal/official collection and concludes that, in order to achieve the minimum collection rate, Member States have to divert a high proportion of WEEE that currently goes unreported. In its vision paper, based on UNITAR's report, the WEEE Forum lays out four vital steps that need to be taken to ensure the system is fair and achievable and conveys its vision for the future of Extended Producer Responsibility.
There are currently 43 members of the WEEE Forum. These members are not-for-profit WEEE producer responsibility organisations (or ‘producer compliance schemes’) mainly in Europe, but we have recently expanded globally and are now pleased to include members from six different continents.
Our members represent electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers covering the whole spectrum of production from small electronic devices, such as cellphones, through to large household appliances like refrigerators and other large items, for example photovoltaic panels.
Since their foundation, the producer responsibility organisations of the WEEE Forum have collected, de-polluted and recycled or sent for preparation for re-use 21.7 million tonnes of WEEE. 2.7 million tonnes of this was collected in 2019, which was almost two thirds of WEEE collected in Europe during that year.
In addition, our members operate over 114,000 WEEE collection points and two thirds of them are market leaders in their countries.
The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association representing forty producer responsibility organisations across the globe. Together with our members, we are at the forefront of turning the extended producer responsibility principle into an effective electronic waste management policy approach through our combined knowledge of the technical, business and operational aspects of collection, logistics, de-pollution, processing, preparing for reuse and reporting of e-waste. Our mission is to be the world’s foremost e-waste competence centre excelling in the implementation of the circularity principle.
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