Launching today’s Weee Generation Conference Marking the Inaugural E-Waste Day in Dublin are Maria Banti European Commission DG Environment, Leo Donovan CEO of Weee Ireland and Dr Claire Penny IBM Ireland
WEEE Generation: Conference Marks Inaugural E-Waste Day in Dublin
Key industry stakeholders address future-proofing and innovation in recycling sector
WEEE Ireland has marked the inaugural International E-Waste Day with a conference in Dublin’s Mansion House. The event, titled “WEEE Generation: Future-Proofing through Innovation and Excellence” featured speeches and panel sessions from stakeholders and policymakers from across the sector. The day’s discussions are celebrating the achievements of the e-waste recycling sector and showcasing the innovations that will take it into the future.
Ireland is a European leader in e-waste recycling, and this year’s conference has come at a perfect moment. With more than 65% of all EEE products placed on the market presented for recycling last year, Ireland is ahead of EU targets which mandate a country-wide approach to the issue. For the first time, the average Irish household presented 30kg of e-waste for recycling last year. For some items, the level of recycling actually exceeded the weight placed on the market, underlining the changing nature of technology alongside the remarkable success of recycling efforts.
Attendees today have contributed to discussion on the circular economy, contemporary research in the e-waste sector, and the industry’s transition to Open Scope standards in line with recent regulatory change.
Launching International E-Waste Day at today’s conference Leo Donovan, chief executive of WEEE Ireland said: “The environmental and economic benefits of quality management of WEEE cannot be overstated. Authorised recycling systems remove and treat hazardous material from legacy e-waste while also recovering valuable resources for use again. This urban mine potential is important to harness as we transition towards a much more circular and less wasteful society.”
The inaugural International E-Waste Day comes as an ever-increasing amount of e-waste is being produced worldwide. It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated globally in 2018. Two-thirds of the world’s population is currently covered by e-waste legislation, but only 20% of global e-waste is recycled each year, which means that 40 million tonnes of e-waste per annum is either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way.
Speaking about the first E-Waste Recycling Day, which takes place on Saturday 13 October, Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “This is an important and timely initiative because e-waste continues to increase in volume and the materials it contains are essential for manufacturing new products and satisfying consumer demand for e-products.
“Even in the EU, which leads the world in e-waste recycling, only 35% of e-waste is officially reported as properly collected and recycled. Awareness raising initiatives impacting positively on collection rates will not only help member countries achieving the WEEE Directive’s targets but also help Europe in developing the Circular Economy.”
For further information about how you can support International E-Waste Day visit www.weeeireland.ie