Compliance – responsibility for humans and the environment in a European solution
- Responsibility of producers for the whole lifecycle of their products
- Registration to national WEEE/Battery registers
- Financing of collection and recycling of electronic waste (WEEE) / Financing guarantees
- Put on the Market (PoM) declarations
- Take-back of WEEE (0:1 / 1:1) – individually or collectively
- Information obligations
Professional disposal is not a question of voluntary commitment or an individual manufacturer's sense of responsibility, but a legal obligation. The EU Commission drafted the first European directive in 1988, covering the introduction, the recovery and the environmentally friendly disposal of electrical and electronic equipment and establishing the obligations of producers.
Based on the polluter-pays-principle and product stewardship, producers are obliged to finance waste collection and recycling – the so-called WEEE costs. Producers are not just manufacturers, but anyone who introduces a product into an EU member state for the first time. According to the directive, producers are therefore also online retailers (when exporting to foreign consumers (both commercial and private end-users) as well as importers.
The current version of the European WEEE directive (Directive 2012/19/EU for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) was adopted on 04th July 2012. In order to increase collection and therefore improve environmental protection it specifies, for example, a relative collection rate from 2016 onwards. This is calculated as 45 percent of the electrical and electronic devices put on the market over the previous three years. By 2019, this collection quota will increase to 65 percent, a real challenge for EU Member States, take-back systems and producers.
The directive provides the legal framework, but each member state has implemented it on a national level in a different manner. The WEEE directive is the basis for the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) from 23rd October 2015, which implements the WEEE directive 2012/19/EU into German law. This decentralized legal situation obliges producers to register and fulfil their producer obligations in every relevant country.