In this edition of Eye on WEEE, we draw your attention to the highly successful WEEE Forum conference in London two weeks ago. This year’s tagline – ‘Waste Environment, Economy and Employment’ – summed up the principal challenges European society is facing today. In the months and years to come, the WEEE Forum will seek to be a catalyst in the discussions on how Europe can become a resource efficient economy.
Waste Environment, Economy and Employment
WEEE Forum conference, hosted by Repic, the largest British producer compliance scheme, in London on 20-21 September, attracted 250 e-waste experts from across the world to discuss the challenge of transposing WEEE II into national law and the set of initiatives required to turn Europe into a resource efficient, sustainable economy.
Mattia Pellegrini, the European Commission’s head of unit for metals, minerals and raw materials, said: “We import more than 90 per cent of our critical metals into Europe, which clearly makes us one of the most heavily dependent continents in the world. To address this we have developed the strategy to ensure that there is sustainable access to raw materials and to ensure that there is a level playing field.”
Gunter Pauli (pictured), founder of the Zero Emissions and Research Initiative and author of the Blue Economy that highlights the importance of developing business models that create no emissions and waste, explained how ‘upcycling’ makes better use of waste by converting old materials into new materials or better quality products that have more environmental value. “What we need is a broad-based societal stakeholder involvement, focusing not on the problem but on mobilising people around the vision”. Pauli commended the WEEE Forum for having delivered on the political agenda to gain compliance and on the business agenda to make costs bearable for companies.
The challenge of transposing WEEE II into national law
Ten years on from the adoption of the original WEEE legislation in 2002, WEEE II – Directive 2012/19/EU – is now agreed. The critical next phase is the transposition of this new piece of legislation into national law.
There is a huge disparity across Europe, not only in terms of collection and awareness, but also in the current WEEE systems in place. As we enter this next phase of the European WEEE story, there is a lot that we can learn from each other and knowledge that we can share to ensure we are optimising the original aim of the Directive.
This issues paper takes a look at key challenges we are currently facing in Europe, and the critical elements we must consider if WEEE II is to be realised.
See The challenge of transposition of WEEE II and Directive 2012/19/EU.
Environmentally sound WEEE management in Africa
On 24 September, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, esteemed member of WorldPC’s Board of Recommendations, unveiled WorldPC’s new name and logo, WorldLoop, in the presence of 250 supporters, amongst them his Royal Highness Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme, member of the Dutch Royal Family.
This was a week of important significance for WorldLoop and its stakeholders and strategic partners, amongst whom the WEEE Forum and some of its members, who argue that the benefits of ICT should be extended to developing countries by turning e-waste into sustainable, human and economic resources.
As the One Year anniversary of the inauguration of the first member facility in Africa is celebrated, WorldLoop was excited to announce the official end of the WorldPC pilot project. The announcement was made at a special event, held in honour of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s recent visit to the Netherlands and to commemorate the 250,000th computer donation made to WorldLoop’s founding organization Close the Gap. New partnerships were announced as well as public statements of support of the WorldLoop initiative.
WorldLoop is continuing its mission to raise awareness, establish a standard for e-waste management through its partnership with the WEEE Forum, and facilitate the creation of environmentally sound e-waste management systems in developing countries.
See press release.
2011 Annual Report
This year’s WEEE Forum Annual Report zooms in on the organisation’s wide range of initiatives last year, for example concerning WEEELABEX and collection, and offers key statistics of both national WEEE markets and of producer responsibility organisations of the WEEE Forum.
See 2011 Annual Report.