WEEE Directive: final stakeholder workshop
On 19 October, the final stakeholder workshop as part of the “Study supporting the evaluation of the WEEE Directive” sponsored by the European Commission took place in Brussels.
The workshop was organized by Ramboll in cooperation with the Austrian Environmental Agency and Oeko-Institut on behalf of the European Commission, and is part of a thorough stakeholder process contributing to the project that will evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and added value to the EU of the WEEE directive.
While the study is not about proposing new measures, its findings may suggest some measures.
Dr Thomas Fischer, Head of Market Intelligence & Governmental Affairs at Landbell Group, participated in the workshops.
Earlier this year, Landbell Group’s subsidiary European Recycling Platform also participated in a workshop organised by Ramboll, which was dedicated to producers and PROs, and contributed a position paper. Landbell Group’s subsidiaries also answered related questions as requested by their national ministries.
The workshop organisers presented the results of the stakeholder consultation concluding that, overall, stakeholders agreed that the Directive has been a success and has significantly helped to create an infrastructure to collect and recycle WEEE in Europe.
However, certain shortcomings were raised and discussed by stakeholders from associations, businesses, NGOs, and citizens, such as:
- Failure to reduce overall WEEE volumes (it was also discussed whether this is and can be an objective of the Directive)
- Insufficient promotion of re-use
- Lack of enforcement and free-riding, illegal treatment, and illegal shipments
- Complicated processes for producers, and lack of harmonisation throughout the European Union
- Not adapted to technical developments – for example, outdated categorisation (see PV panels) and depollution requirements, and
- Calculation methods need an overhaul to accurately represent the waste that is available for collection
The study runs till January 2024 when the final report will also be published (a draft report will be issued by November 2023).
As a next step, the Commission needs to conclude whether a revision of the WEEE Directive is necessary and which parts need adjusting.