Current information suggests that with increased turnover of electrical goods by consumers, few ‘bring back’ schemes yet to ensure compliance with the WEEE Directive and relatively high costs of recovery and recycling in member states compared to export for ‘recycling’ or insufficient capacity for recovery and recycling in some member state countries it is believed that compliance with the WSR is poor with illegal shipments of WEEE being exported out of Europe on a large scale.
This results in poor recovery rates, illegal disposal and potential health and environmental problems in countries of destination in the Far East and Africa. Failure to effectively and consistently regulate exports of WEEE across Europe will result in continuing gaps and loopholes in the European regulatory network that will be exploited by unscrupulous operators.
This project will require IMPEL TFS members to work together to develop a strategic threat assessment on European WEEE exports which will enable a fuller understanding of the trade to be achieved. A better understanding of the European WEEE export trade will provide the opportunity to develop a Europe wide control strategy which will identify the most effective interventions or tactical actions each member state can employ to disrupt illegal trade. This approach should bring about more effective regulation of WEEE exports with a corresponding reduction in complaints from countries of destination and a more environmentally responsible approach to dealing with WEEE in Europe (in line with the requirements of the WEEE Directive).
The project also offers the opportunity for some collaborative inspection and enforcement work to test the effectiveness of the control strategy and make adjustments to it as required.
Part of the E-waste project was to assess the practicability and enforceability of the new WEEE directive recast proposal by using the IMPEL P&E checklist. Read more on this assessment here.