EC proposes tougher laws to deal with e-waste

The European Parliament has said it wants tighter rules for the EU's growing output of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE).

The European Parliament has said it wants tighter rules for the EU's growing output of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE).

MEPs have proposed new targets for collecting, recycling and re-using waste. They also recommended tougher measures to prevent the export of e-waste to developing countries, where it can pose a health and environment hazard.

Karl-Heinz Florenz, who steered the draft legislation through Parliament, said: "Parliament has sent a strong message that public authorities, manufacturers and consumers all need to play their part to ensure we collect and recycle more of our electrical and electronic goods. We have also set out stricter rules to stop potentially harmful waste being illegally shipped to developing countries."

Member states should collect 85% of the e-waste they produce from 2016. MEPs recommend a 50-75% recycling target (depending on category) and support a new 5% re-use goal.

Haley Bowcock, Environmental Advocacy Officer at Computer Aid, said: "Computer Aid International is pleased to see MEPs approve a higher and more ambitious collection target of 85% of e-waste arising."

"With e-waste generation in the EU predicted to grow to 12 million tonnes per year by 2020 and 67% of this amount still completely unaccounted for - either landfilled, sent to sub-standard treatment facilities or illegally exported - it is clear that much more must be done to address this problem," Haley Bowcock added.

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