The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE)
aims to minimise the impacts of electrical and electronic equipment
on the environment during their life times and when they become
waste. It applies to a huge spectrum of products. It encourages
and sets criteria for the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery
of waste electrical and electronic equipment. It makes producers
responsible for financing most of these activities (producer responsibility),
except for "historic waste". Private householders are
to be able to return WEEE without charge.
The RoHS Directive will ban the placing on the EU market of new
electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed
levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated
biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants
from 1 July 2006. There are a number of exempted applications for
these substances. RoHS takes its scope broadly from the WEEE Directive.
Manufacturers will need to ensure that their products - and their
components - comply in order to stay on the Single Market. If they
do not, they will need to redesign products.
Comprehensive information about the two Directives and the consultation
process can be found at
The main impetus is that it will be the producer's responsibility
to finance the recovery, transportation and recycling of WEEE i.e.
any WEEE purchased after 13th August 2005. Different arrangements
may be imposed for the financing of "historic WEEE" i.e.
that purchased before 13th August 2005.
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