Joint Position paper on the Revision of the Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Position Papers, Publications

Production, use, and disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) have severe environmental impacts. The increasing demand for such devices exhausts valuable resources, causes high energy demand, and frequently leads to the release of substances harmful for human health and the environment. In 2020, the amount of EEE put on the market was 12.3 Million tonnes. This is an increase of 62 % compared to 2012. In 2020, only 4.7 Million tonnes of e-waste were collected in the EU. At the same time, major environmental problems are still not solved or become even worse, such as short-lived electronics, poor repair conditions, low reuse quantities, complex and material-intensive design, toxicity and improper disposal routes.

The original Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) presented a pioneering approach to environmentally sound management of e-waste and was a first step towards a circular economy model. However, since the entry into force of this directive in 2012, the challenges in dealing with EEE have grown and considerable technical developments have taken place so that the current WEEE Directive is no longer fit for purpose. In particular, the main focus on end-of-life
throughout the directive is no longer appropriate. It is therefore urgently necessary that the WEEE Directive is quickly and fundamentally revised, expanded and updated. Furthermore, it is recommended to consider a conversion of the WEEE directive into a WEEE Regulation, since a regulation comes into force immediately, is more legally binding and ensures more harmonised rules throughout Europe. In the context of the upcoming review, the European Commission should:


1. Set quantitative targets to reduce environmental footprint from EEE.
2. Promote horizontal ecodesign and information requirements.
3. Phase-out substances of concern by design.
4. Apply the right to repair.
5. Promote re-use.
6. Increase and enforce producer responsibility.
7. Enhance WEEE collection.
8. Set modern rules for WEEE treatment, collection, logistics and preparation for re-use.
9. Stop illegal exports.
10. Ban the destruction of unsold EEE