WEEE recycling in the European Union.

WEEE is waste from electrical and electronic equipment, its materials, components, consumables and sub-assemblies. They represent the fastest growing EU waste stream and less than 40% is currently recycled.
This category includes different products that are discarded when they are no longer used.

Electronic and electrical waste in the European Union

Within the EU, large household appliances (washing machines, dishwashers…) are the ones that are collected the most after use (they make up 52.7% of the total).
They are followed by consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels (camcorders, lamps…), IT and telecommunications equipment (computers, printers…), and small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, toasters…).
* Source: Eurostat (2020)

EU measures to reduce WEEE

We are faced with three problems:

  • Less than 40% of all WEEE in the EU is recycled.
  • The discarded WEEE contains harmful materials that pollute the environment.
  • The disposal of WEEE translates into significant financial losses for the European

To deal with it, the European Commission presented in 2020 an Action Plan for the
Circular Economy*, (https://environment.ec.europa.eu/strategy/circular-economy- action-plan_en) which has among its priorities reduction of this waste was key, and set the goal of a minimum rate of 65%.
Some of the proposals are: the right to repair, the introduction of a common charger and a reward system to encourage recycling.
In addition, the Ecodesign Directive calls for better repair and durability of electronic items.

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