To mark the second International E-Waste Day, WEEE Ireland hosted an industry seminar – ‘WEEE EPR In Action: New Rules for a Circular Economy”. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) will play a key role in the development of the Circular Economy as New European Waste Directives are transposed into Irish legislation in 2020.
Mark Hilton, Head of Sustainable Business at Eunomia Research & Consulting, gave the keynote presentation on the implications of the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) with particular focus on the challenge of eco modulation of fees in Extended Producer Responsibility. Differentiating the cost of products based on their environmental criteria will be an important aspect in incentivising eco-design and encouraging more consumers to ‘buy green’. Setting rules for eco-modulated fees however will be a complex task, considering the wide and diverse range of electrical products available today. Eunomia is preparing EPR guidelines on behalf of the European Commission and undertaking a stakeholder consultation across Member States to support these developments.
In attendance at the WEEE Ireland event were companies from across the value chain of the electrical and battery industry in Ireland. An expert panel of Irish and European organisations discussed the challenges and opportunities ahead under Circular Economy new EPR rules for Irish WEEE and battery stakeholders.
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 across the planet in 2019. Half of this is personal devices such as computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs, with the remainder being larger household appliances and heating and cooling equipment.
Speaking at the event, Leo Donovan, Chief Executive of WEEE Ireland said: “The environmental and economic benefits of quality management of WEEE cannot be overstated. While WEEE Ireland is delivering on our Members 65% collection and recycling commitment in this country, only 20% of e-waste is recycled globally each year, which means that 40 million tonnes of per annum is either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard way and this is despite 66% of the world’s population being covered by e-waste legislation.
Also, marking International E-Waste Day, Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries explained: “We are entering the next stage in Europe’s commitment to foster a circular economy. This will be part of the new Green Deal for Europe announced by the incoming Commission President Ursula van der Leyen.”
WEEE Ireland is also delighted in 2019 to welcome the Schemes 1,000th member JYSK Ireland, the largest Danish retail chain, selling household goods and operating in Ireland and internationally. In total, JYSK has over 2,700 stores and 23,000 employees in 51 countries.
Since its establishment in 2005, WEEE Ireland now represents 74% of the national household electrical and electronic industry and 96% of the Irish battery industry, organising free takeback and recycling to the public on behalf of its Members from recycling centres, retail points and local collection days around the country. WEEE Irelands profile of Members includes OEMS, Importers, Distributors and Retailers across the electrical and battery sector in Ireland, who all benefit from Producer compliance support services provided by the Scheme.
Jenny Johnston, Sales & Marketing Manager, JYSK Ireland said; “We are proud to become the 1000th certified member of WEEE Ireland. Since entering the Irish market in April of this year, we have strived to act in an environmentally responsible manner as we roll out our network of stores across the country. Our membership of WEEE Ireland forms part of our wider, global commitment to sustainability. Throughout 2019, we have been working intensively with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that our sustainability efforts make the biggest impact possible through our value chain.”
Ireland is a European leader in e-waste recycling and WEEE Ireland is driving this success with more than 65% of all EEE products placed on the market by their Members presented for recycling last year.
CEO, Leo Donovan also noted. “With the current awareness of global Climate Action issues Ireland is leading the charge in improving how we manage and recycle e-waste and it is important to emphasis we have solutions to the e-waste challenge. WEEE Ireland has consistently met or surpassed its target objectives year on year, supporting local Irish recycling facilities to recover the important materials in WEEE for further use in manufacturing. We thank every household, school and workplace who have helped with our environmental efforts to date and the Irish Producers who have joined with the Scheme as part of their national and global sustainability activity.”
For further information on Producer Compliance and Member Solutions, please contact the WEEE Ireland Compliance Team on 01-2999320 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.