This is the plain text/printable version of Electrical recycling law passed.

Electrical recycling law passed.

Friday 20 December 2002

The much-discussed Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive has made law by the European Parliament this week, in a bid to reduce hazardous waste from the industry. The directive, which will come into force in 2005, states that all manufacturers must retain responsibility for their products throughout their lifecycles. This effectively means that take-back and collection schemes for obsolete products will be more commonplace, as companies recycle their branded goods.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage an increase in of course recycling, and sustainable production. The most hazardous products when landfilled are invariably electronic and electrical, however the new law will force manufacturers to look at more environmentally friendly material and processes if the responsibility of recycling is down to them.

Individual member states will be responsible for how the WEEE Directive is implemented in their specific regions, and regular EU regulation laws will apply.

An immediate forecast by consumer groups is that prices for relevant products will increase, as manufacturers attempt to cover eventual recycling costs. Although this is more than likely to be the case in the short term, the long term should see prices lower as more efficient manufacturing processes and materials are used.

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