As an organisation representing European social enterprises and networks, whose main activities are primarily re-use and recycling, we very much welcome the result of the ENVI Committee vote today on the WEEE Recast.
In order to increase the amount of re-use opportunities in Europe, firmly contributing to resource efficiency, adhering to the Waste Hierarchy and increasing local employment opportunities, RREUSE is delighted to see that the amendments adopted by the ENVI Committee include:
- a separate 5% prepare for re-use target has been retained in the collection targets (Amendment 45) which would ensure adequate monitoring of the waste stream and provide incentives for adequate manual handling, transportation and storage conditions of WEEE. We firmly believe that accredited re-use centres will be able to handle such a target
- a requirement for producers to provide free of charge information about preparation for re-use and treatment of the appliances they place on the market (Amendment 56) . Not for profit organisations will therefore not be put at a disadvantage regarding access to such crucial information
- requiring all collection schemes to provide for the separation of reusable WEEE at collection points (Amendment 32) would help facilitate maximising the amount of whole items that can be successfully prepared for re-use
- adopting and implementing European standards for preparation for re-use (Amendment 42) of WEEE in order to harmonise the quality and methods of appliance refurbishment and repair of second hand appliances. This needs adequate time to take into account best practices and Europe especially taking into account standards which already exist in the UK, Belgium and France for example. Three years (maximum) would be a feasible time frame for the creation of such standards.
The above signals of intent from the Parliament are extremely positive and it is now important to work with the Council to reassure them that in practice the preparation for re-use of WEEE is advantageous for Europe on social, environmental and economic grounds. In particular a combined re-use/recycling target as well as a non mandatory separation of potentially reusable appliances at collection points would certainly be detrimental to re-use efforts in Europe.