Spain sets EU’s first WEEE reuse targets
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Spain has introduced the first reuse requirement for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Europe.
Spain’s transposition of the 2012 WEEE Directive, approved last month, will require certain waste categories to be prepared for reuse.
The law sets a target of 2% for domestic white goods and 3% for IT and telecoms equipment to be prepared for reuse from January 2017. The targets will increase to 3% and 4% respectively from August 2018. The objectives will be revised after the European Commission publishes a forthcoming study on preparing for reuse.
WEEE producers are required to sign up to a national register to facilitate monitoring and traceability and to provide technical information on requests to facilitate reuse.
Waste accounts for 27% of employment in Spain’s green sector and the environment ministry calculates that preparation for WEEE reuse could generate 4,700 direct jobs.
The legislation “could have set more ambitious targets and been applied to more categories” of waste but “Europe should look to the example of Spain to realise that this can be done”, said Michal Len, director of Rreuse, which represents reuse organisations across Europe.
For the Spanish appliance industry association Fundación Ecolec, more ambitious targets would be “difficult to achieve in the established timeframe”, spokesman Rafael Serrano said. “Gradual adaptation to ever more ambitious objectives is the best formula,” he said.
Under the WEEE Directive the EU must examine the possibility of setting targets for preparing WEEE for reuse by 14 August next year.
The WEEE Directive will not be reviewed as part of the new circular economy package Brussels is developing because the directive was revised under the last Commission, a spokeswoman said.
Source: ENDS Europe