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Images of e-waste taken by Elretur in Norway (2004-07). From Friedholm 2006.
There are some 20 billion items of electronics in use worldwide today . With rapid innovation cycles of electronic products driving rapid product replacement, this means we can expect these items to become e-waste within the next few years. E-waste refers to end-of-life electronics – all those unwanted televisions, hair-dryers, mobile phones, laptops and so one that are ready for discarding. Rapid innovation cycles of electronic products drives rapid replacement – the fastest-growing waste stream in the EU (and globally). Both valuable and toxic – complex make-up with a myriad different metals – including gold, platinum, tin, copper, and palladium. Many of these are valuable and scarce. Mining e-waste to recover these metals is more profitable than deep mine extraction for virgin materials – but it needs to be done properly, with adequate controls for the safety of workers, communities and the environment. This is because e-waste contains hazardous compounds like mercury, lead, and brominated flame retardants. If discarded in landfill, there is the threat of heavy metal contamination into soils and groundwater. In the US, e-waste is responsible for 70% of heavy metals in landfill. There are also hazardous materials that are created as a by-product of improper e-waste recovery techniques. For instance, open burning of wires to access the copper within – a common ‘backyard’ recycling technique – releases neurotoxic and carcinogenic compounds like furans and dioxins. Some excellent approaches to e-waste management (for instance Norway and Switzerland, but some have no system at all Treating e-waste in ways that guarantee the safety of people and the environment has costs . In fact, in the EU and other industrialised nations, the process of collection and treatment actually runs at a net cost, even when the value of the recovered materials is taken into account. This partly why an illicit, and grossly unfair, trade in e-waste has developed . Unscrupulous traders can profit by cutting corners – but at huge cost to the health of workers and the environment in and around informal waste sites, like those in Ghana, China and Pakistan. And also, the Balkans Image source: Ghana dump. Greenpeace - http://www.computerweekly.com/galleries/234922-5/Component-found-in-a-rubbish-dump.htm
The WEEE Directive is the EU’s policy approach to regulate this complex waste stream. The aim is to reduce environmental impacts of e-waste by reducing waste generation and promoting reuse, recycling and other forms of recover to reduce WEEE discarded. Developed in the 2002, in force 2003 and based on a principle of producer responsibility/ the polluter pays principle. This means that producers are financially responsible for the collection and treatment of their own goods. Has implications for Macedonia given the accession process. While the logistics and mechanics were left to the discretion of Member States, key elements that must be incorporated are that collection and treatment schemes: Provide free WEEE take-back schemes for consumers Reduce WEEE to landfill through collection and recovery targets Enable WEEE to be collected separately from other wastes Incentives for ‘eco-design’ – product design that reduces WEEE generation in the first place, and increases its ease of recovery Producer responsibility for end-of-life treatment of their own products
A review of the Directive during its first five years’ implementation has revealed numerous technical, legal and administrative problems. These have resulted in unintended costs, continued environmental harm, unfair distribution of costs … and unnecessary administrative burden . Member States have largely proven able to meet initial collection targets – this is a good thing (well, at least a good start). Collection actually as much as 65% of WEE put on market across the EU. But, early target quite low – and not indicative of different Member State’s markets i.e. market saturation of various electronics differs greatly across the European Community. Also, collection performance across and within product categories – collection of small WEEE (like mobile phones, mp3 players) is very low for all systems (collection and take-back tends to favour heavier items when there are weight-based target). This presents a problem, as environmentally-speaking, some products are more important than others. For example, mobile phone recovery is very low, despite the fact that mobiles contain many valuable resources and their components are material- and energy-intensive to produce. And there are a lot of them! Some 5million new phones sold in 2007 in the UK alone, and this is an item consumers ritually hoard away in draws when no longer in use. And, only 33% of WEEE is treated according to legal requirements (despite recovery targets of up to 80% in some categories). The remainder, 67%, is currently unaccounted for , either land-filled or sent for substandard treatment (this includes illegal export). Also, despite language in the Directive that makes reuse as a policy priority, collection and take-back systems systematically favour recycling, even though this is not necessarily the best environmental option. So – there are problems…
… but the EU has recognised this. And, in my opinion (and I am sure many working closely on the issue would agree), the basic premise of the WEEE Directive is sound - the responsibility is in the right place. The model just needs some (admittedly major) tweaks. The EU is (slowly) working on addressing the loopholes. Built into the Directive was the expectation that its performance and implementation would be reviewed after 5 years’ implementation. Following the 2008 review (which included quantitative studies and impact assessments), the European Commission developed a Proposal for a recast. This recast proposal was then taken up by the European Parliament, who have tabled various amendments. These will be debated by the European Parliament when it meets in Plenary come the 19 th October. Some of the key issues on the table: *Streamlining administrative procedures and minimising/removing legal uncertainty currently plaguing the Directive. Since Member States were permitted a fair amount of discretion in sy Proposals include making national product registers interoperable across the EU, to avoid producers having to register in every Member State in which they put products onto the market (this has huge additional costs – in order of billions, according to EC figures). There are also big issues relating to scope (the Euro Parl Environment Committee wants that in principle, all EEE are included) *Increasing collection targets . This definitely needs to happen, as the expectation is that the more collected within the formal WEEE system, the less leaks out to substandard treatment/illegal export. The EC proposed 65% of EEE put on market in the last two years; the Euro Parl Environment Committee wants at least 85% actual WEEE arising, to account for items hoarded and to avoid perverse policy outcomes like producers designing products with shorter lifespans in order to meet market-based collection targets. However, the big concern is how this is going to be done, given current collection rates (see following slides) *Increasing recovery . Again, vital that this happens. Part of this is raising targets across all categories, and whether or not the targets are for recycling and reuse combined, or are separate targets for each. EC proposals are for the first time including reuse of whole appliances in recovery target; the Environment Committee of the European Parliament has furthered this, with suggestions for reuse targets to be distinct. Minimum standards for all collection and treatment methods, including reuse are proposed to improve quality across the board, as there is varying performance of Member States’ collection and treatment schemes. This will help ensure the health and safety of workers involved in the e-waste chain, and maximise environmental protection. Reuse standards also useful to the enforcement of sham reuse exporters that are disguising WEEE as ‘EEE for reuse’ *Minimum standards for enforcement are also proposed, particularly in relation to shipments of EEE destined for reuse, designed to clamp down on illegal dumping.
Source: Huismann 2010. From 4kg to 65%. Can WEEE do it? Implementation has proven easier for those countries with a “WEEE culture” (e.g. Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, who had or were developing e-waste legislation in advance of the WEEE directive). Indeed, in the admittedly early days of the WEEE Directive, it is these countries that appear to be performing the best in implementation. On the other hand, some Member States were slow to incorporate the Directive into their own laws. For instance, the United Kingdom did not transpose the Directive until 2007. Based on 2009 collection data, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium top the WEEE ‘league table’, collecting and treating 16.5, 14.2 and 8.3 kg per inhabitant. All are also easily meeting recovery targets across product categories. However, despite some countries well and truly exceeding the 4kg per inhabitant target, most countries will have their work cut out for them to meet proposed increased targets.
Of the three tops of the league table, Belgium and Sweden were already on their way to implementing their own e-waste legislation in advance of the WEEE Directive. I’ve selected these countries because they are higher up on the table and in my opinion, probably more like to weather the changes to the Directive better than the UK, who is doing relatively well on current collection, but is well off proposed changes. So, both have: - An existing ‘WEEE culture’ in fact, we could go as far as saying they have an existing reuse/recycling mentality, which has helped them a lot – they were both on their way to implementing systems in advance of WEEE Directive. Influential in setting out the Directive, and implementation has thus been easier that for those without - Producer compliance by national collective system is a dominant national system (monopoly) which is responsible for collection, recycling and financing of all (or the vast majority) of WEEE within national boundaries. For instance, in Sweden’s case, all logistics and processors have to be hired through El Kresten. (Pro’s of national collective system: simplest, most effective route to collecting and treating WEEE – economies of scale (useful for smaller markets) avoids additional admin costs of multiple actors, instil stronger recycling ethos cf. compliance at lowest cost for competitive models) - Broad collection networks – Sweden has greatest number of non-retail sites (though limited retailer take-back); Belgium expects citizens to bring goods back to reuse centres, retailers (old-for-new), or broad network of municipalities - Have incorporated IPR (individual producer responsibility) into their WEEE laws – means in theory at least, producers responsible for funding end-of-life management of their own goods, as the Directive stipulates should be the case as it helps stimulate eco-design – though how this works in practice is unclear.
Producers (OEMs, importers, rebranders) must join a compliance scheme (Currently 35 in the UK!), fund end-of-life management, provide info re: how to treat products at end-of-life, mark products Distributor take-back schemes 1,117 civic amenity sites (or equivalent) and 248 waste transfer stations registered with the Distributor Take back Scheme as designated Collection Facilities (DCFs) for the collection of household WEEE. There are also a further 244 other sites registered as DCFs, including those from charity and the not-for-profit sector, retailer depots and the commercial sector. Once collected at a DCF, the costs associated with picking this material up, taking it to be correctly treated and then recycling the component parts, is the responsibility of 'producers'. This task is carried out by their chosen Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) with whom each Local Authority in the UK can contract for these services to be provided. No WEEE culture – faced economic sanctions until transposition in 2007 (after sustained civil society pressure) Compliance by clearing house system The clearing house model is a national framework in which multiple partners (producers, recyclers, and waste organisations) can provide services. The government ensures that there is a register of producers and defines the allocation mechanisms, and reporting and monitoring systems. In UK, there are 35(!) Producer Compliance Schemes (PCSs) that help comply (collect fees, do reporting, and so on), provide advice, provide recycling solutions (though not necessarily recyclers themselves). Could be problem with this system when new targets come in – as clearing house systems can ‘cherry pick’ favourable waste streams and go for ‘lowest possible compliance’ Do have a broad collection network – designated take back facilities include civic amenity sites, waste transfer stations, charity/NFP actors, retailers and the commercial sector No provision for IPR – producers pay into compliance scheme based on market share rather than actual product collection and recycling cost – no eco-design imperative
With or without the WEEE Directive, how well e-waste is managed largely depends on country contexts. For instance, how does Macedonia answer the following questions: Existing “WEEE culture” / recycling mentality? - if one doesn’t exist, how can we foster it and raise awareness? Provision of management/ compliance ? – Would collective approach, or multiple providers, suit the Macedonian context? Collection network – current infrastructure? What exists and is it WEEE ready? How can we expand this? IPR – producer perceptions? Also, can expect changes in WEEE Directive to impact whatever system developed! Useful to know: Current institutional context/attitudes/infrastructure/practices in Macedonia As well as practices of the “good performers”, experiences of EU countries previously lacking a “WEEE” culture (and lower don on the ‘league table’) would be informative, as may be similarities/lessons to draw from This is where BEWMAN comes in!
So, there is a lot of work to do, but there is also a lot of opportunity. - Chance for Macedonia to be a leader in e-waste management. With some exceptions, countries in the region have not yet adopted appropriate laws and regulations that would guarantee high level of standards in e-waste management, on par with the EU. Furthermore, the level of implementation of existing regulations and policies remain unsatisfactory. For instance, current law regarding dangerous and non-dangerous waste management in Serbia is outdated (apart from a law banning import of old IT equipment) and it does not follow the latest environmental demands or EU regulations. Croatia (2007) and Bulgaria (2006) have made movements in the transposition of the WEEE Directive; early days yet to assess, though in Croatia there has been an increase in collection. … An opportunity to improve Macedonia’s approach to e-waste management. The Macedonian Law on Waste Management (2004) has definitions about “Waste of electric and electronic device”, and the e-waste is part of this category, but is not specifically determined. Document outlines some obligations (sellers, producers or importers, and consumers of electronic equipment requiring that the companies provide recycling services for used equipment.) Majority of the companies are not familiar with these regulations, or do not comply with them due to low level of enforcement by the authorities. Readiness for EU membership And most importantly, averting the environmental and health impacts of improper e-waste management Fact that we are talking about this today – and that is a very positive sign that things are moving forward.
е-Отпад и WEEE директивата
„ е-Отпад“ и WEEE Директива Напредокот во ЕУ и најнови случувања Импликации и предлози за Македонија < Балканска мрежа за застапување при управување со е-отпад >
Што е е-отпад и зошто треба да се грижиме за него ? <ul><li>20 милијарди уреди кои се користат во целиот свет </li></ul><ul><li>Брза замена на уреди » создавање голема количина на отпад </li></ul><ul><li>Брзо зголемување на отпадот во ЕУ – 12 милиони тони до 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Токсична и вредна содржина </li></ul><ul><li>Некои земји имаат одлични пристапи за раководење со е-отпад, но некои немаат никаков систем </li></ul><ul><li>Нефер дистрибуирање на отпад – нелегално експортирање на отпад во други земји </li></ul>
Пристапи за раководење со е-отпад : „ WEEE Директивата“ на ЕУ <ul><li>Директивата за електронски и електричен отпад (WEEE) на ЕУ </li></ul><ul><li>Главни елементи : </li></ul><ul><li>Бесплатни шеми за враќање на електричните и електрични уреди за потрошувачите </li></ul><ul><li>Да се намали нивото на е-отпад во депониите преку поставување обврска за нивоа на собирање и враќање во употреба </li></ul><ul><li>е-Отпадот да се собира одделно од другиот отпад </li></ul><ul><li>Стимулирање на „еко-дизајн“ – продукти дизајнирани за да го намалат е-отпадот и да ја зголемат можноста за повторно искористување </li></ul><ul><li>Одговорност на производителот за третман на нивните производи, кои се на крајот од нивниот век на користење </li></ul><ul><li>Сето тоа со цел да се намали влијанието на е-отпадот врз животната средина </li></ul>
Како функционира WEEE директивата ? <ul><li>Некои земји членки на ЕУ лесно доаѓаат до моментално поставената цел од 4 kg по жител </li></ul><ul><li>Но , многу простор за подобрување … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Само 33% се третираат според барањата </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Собирањето варира по производ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Нема приоритизирање на повторна употреба </li></ul></ul>
Подобро раководење со е-отпад: Преглед на WEEE <ul><li>ЕУ признава дека има недостатоци - a во моментов тече процес на преиспитување . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Следниот месец се очекува да се случи гласање во Европскиот парламент </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Неколку клучни прашања </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Опсег и дефиниции </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Административни побарувања - хармонизација </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Цели за собирање на е-отпад </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Зголемено и подобрено рециклирање и повторна употреба – цели и стандарди </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Креирање политики / имплементирање </li></ul></ul>
Кој ја применува WEEE добро ? <ul><li>Собирање и обработување - 2009 </li></ul>Адаптирано од Хусман 2010. Од 4kg до 65%. Дали WEEE може да успее ?
How do they do it <ul><li>„ Големи играчи“ : Шведска и Белгија </li></ul><ul><li>Веќе постоечка „култура за е-отпад“ </li></ul><ul><li>Единствен систем за собирање и процесирање на е-отпад (Recupel во Белгија , El Kretsen во Шведска ) </li></ul><ul><li>Широка мрежа за собирање на е-отпад </li></ul><ul><li>Обврски за индивидуална одговорност на производителот во нивните закони </li></ul>WEEE во Шведска и Белгија
WEEE во Велика Британија <ul><li>„ Среден играч“ : Велика Британија </li></ul><ul><li>Не постои „култура за е-отпад“ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Нема транспозиција до 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Многу различни шеми за раководење </li></ul><ul><ul><li>– Моментално 35 шеми </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Широка мрежа за собирање на е-отпад </li></ul><ul><li>Нема обврски за индивидуална одговорност на производителот </li></ul>
Импликации / опции за Македонија ? <ul><li>Како се раководи е-отпадот најмногу зависи од контекстот на земјата … </li></ul><ul><li>Дали постои „култура за е-отпад ” / практика за рециклирање ? </li></ul><ul><li>Провизии за раководење ? </li></ul><ul><li>Мрежи за собирање – моментална инфраструктура ? </li></ul><ul><li>Индивидуална одговорност на производителот – перцепции на производителите ? </li></ul><ul><li>Моментално нема дефинитивен одговор – тука се вклопува BEWMAN… </li></ul>
Импликации / опции за Македонија ? <ul><li>Значи , има многу што да се направи, но исто така и многу можности </li></ul><ul><li>Шанса Македонија да биде регионален лидер во раководење со е-отпадот </li></ul><ul><li>Подготвеност за членството во ЕУ </li></ul><ul><li>И најважно,спречување на влијанијата на неправилното раководење со е-отпадот врз животната средина и здравјето на граѓаните. </li></ul>