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In a report to be released on the 24th November investigating the reasons why the targets are seemingly difficult to attain the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) notes that there is a huge amount of collected WEEE that is not reported.

Commissioned by the WEEE Forum to investigate, UNITAR notes that the WEEE targets will not be attained unless all actors having access to WEEE have reporting obligations and not just the Producer Compliance Schemes and Producer members.

The report has established that one of the key principles of WEEE legislation must be that all actors that can influence collection rates should have management and reporting obligations. This should be considered based on their actual means of leverage and their access to WEEE that is generated – being termed the “All Actors Approach.”

Building on the research, the WEEE Forum proposes in its new vision paper that for reported collected WEEE to increase, Member States should take on a range of additional supporting measures outlined in a new policy approach.

The research and its conclusions, along with the WEEE Forum’s vision paper will be released and discussed further in a webinar to be held on the 24th November (https://weee-forum.org/ws_events/webinar-weee-flows/).

As a member of the WEEE Forum, a leading representative of producer compliance schemes throughout the world, REPIC has contributed to both the Project Steering Group for the UNITAR Study and the WEEE Forum Vision paper.

Supporting the report findings and the WEEE Forum’s vision paper, REPIC’s chief executive, Louise Grantham, comments on their involvement: “Despite the successful growth in the tonnage of WEEE that has been collected since the WEEE Directive was implemented, the UK, like most other Member States, has not been able to attain the increased WEEE collection targets.

“Producers and their compliance schemes across Europe, and other actors in the value chain, have made huge efforts in better understanding why reaching the increased collection targets is so difficult and where the undocumented WEEE is going. This latest study examines the way producer responsibility is implemented across Europe and identifies the common issues we share in collecting and reporting WEEE.

“The ‘All Actors Approach’ is something REPIC views as the natural evolution after more than a decade of operation of the WEEE system. Member States who are using elements of the approach that is being proposed tend to report higher collection rates.  An ‘all actors approach’ implemented together with additional supporting, coordination and enforcement measures will further enhance our producer responsibility system.”

The WEEE Forum’s vision paper, titled “An enhanced definition of EPR and the role of all actors”, outlines the fundamentals of a new policy approach. The paper states that for the reported, official tonnages to go up, Member States should take a range of supporting measures that act as a catalyst to improvement. It follows this, however, by noting that these supporting measures are not a guarantee for attaining collection targets and there are number of fundamentals that need to be included in a new policy approach.

Pascal Leroy, Director General of the WEEE Forum, states, “Based on the UNITAR research and the collective experience of the PROs in the WEEE Forum, we assert that a constructive assessment into how fit for purpose the collection targets are is now required. Considering almost two decades of implementation of WEEE legislation and the changing nature of electrical and electronic equipment coming onto the market, this assessment will ensure that the approach to WEEE is brought up to date and is more effective now and in the future. This rings true for any country which currently has or is planning to introduce extended producer responsibility in the sector and our recommendations are equally applicable outside the EU.”

Among the speakers and panellists at the WEEE Flows event on 24th November will be Thomas Lindhqvist, the person credited with introducing the concept of Producer Responsibility, as well as Mattia Pellegrini of the European Commission’s DG Environment. Joining them will be representatives from Producer Compliance Schemes and the manufacturing sector who will discuss the current climate and the vision that the WEEE Forum presents in its paper.


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