THE WEEE Directive
has already been introduced in many European countries.
Governments are required to ensure systems are in place to
items. Producers must assume financial responsibility for
the cost of recycling or disposal of their goods and for
meeting targets on recovery, re-use, and recycling including
A producer is classified as;
Any company that
manufactures the affected electrical and electronic
Any company that resells
equipment under its own brand name produced
by other manufacturers
Any company that imports
Sale by internet is also
included and has the same obligations on take-back
The Equipment Categories
The 10 broad categories are (you are advised to get detailed
information on this
if you are uncertain).
Large household appliances
Small household appliances
(incl. clocks and scales etc)
IT and telecommunication
Brown goods - tv/hi-fi/video
Electrical and electronic
tools , e/g/ drills/ lawnmowers/sewing machines
Toys and leisure games,
e.g. train sets/ video games
Medical equipment systems
Monitoring and control
equipment, e.g. thermostats, control panels
Automatic dispensers, e.g.
Non-complying products are likely to be removed from the
marketplace. This will obviously have implications for all
goods sent into and circulated within Europe.
This directive is designed to restrict the use of certain
substances in the pro-
duction process, so that harmful toxic pollution is
minimised and recycling of
products made easier. It is your responsibility to ensure
that the goods you
make, supply or sell are compliant.
Alternative substances must be found for these.
The implications of the
You will have your own opinion on what effect these
Directives may have on you
and on the wider environment but these are some of the
implications to consider
for the future.
Producer responsibility : this means "intelligent"
design from the outset,
better use of materials and resources and greener,
cleaner and more
efficient manufacturing processes
Manufacturers will also
need to make provision for end of life disposal and
Reduction in the
environmental impact of hazardous waste
Restriction on the use of
harmful materials and substances
Products should in theory
last longer; more durability
Products should enable
Replacement parts should
be available for longer, the current average of 10 years
is not considered long enough
Due to the above products
may increase in price in the short term
Consumers may value their
products more if they have cost more initially
and repair more frequently and keep them longer.
manufacturers may see their products banned
Less product going to
landfill, a reduction in the "throwaway society" which
are two of the main drivers behind the directives and
the "sustainable development" debate.
Both Directives can be read in full and downloaded from the
European Union's website;