REPIC CEO, Dr Philip Morton, discusses joining forces with Europe’s leading WEEE take-back schemes to create WEEE Europe, the pan-European joint venture that aims to enable market players to fulfill the various WEEE recycling requirements that exist across the continent. CIWM Journal Online Exclusive
For the first time ever, Europe’s leading WEEE take-back schemes have joined forces to form WEEE Europe. Along with eight other not-for-profit schemes representing their European member state, the UK’s largest Producer Compliance Scheme, REPIC is behind the new venture.
The existing EU Directive on WEEE (waste electronic and electrical equipment) states that all manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers and distributors of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) are responsible for the take-back and recycling of their end-of life products. Although they have this in common, each member state is able to transpose the Directive in its own way: the rules and regulations regarding the registration and reporting of EEE in each market are inconsistent across the continent.
Producers and other market players with European-wide – and often further – reach face a complicated and time-consuming task when dealing with the administrative requirements of EEE and WEEE. WEEE Europe is a unique project founded by nine leading national WEEE producer compliance schemes that have come together to make life easier for the producers they each represent, by launching a one-stop-shop for Europe-wide WEEE compliance.
“WEEE Europe provides a link between the various national schemes. In practice, this can mean integrated services for registration, common reporting and analysis, updates on legislation and general bureaucratic simplification”
WEEE Europe provides a link between the various national schemes. In practice, this can mean integrated services for registration, common reporting and analysis, updates on legislation and general bureaucratic simplification. The benefits of this new service offering are huge and will have significant impact on the industry at large, for companies of all sizes: from the very small to the major multi-nationals.
Multi-nationals will welcome the opportunity to manage their WEEE activity in one centrally designated place, removing the need to collate data for each territory individually and interpret it to compare data. By the same token, smaller producers, active in perhaps just a few countries, are unlikely to have the resource on the ground in each country to be able to gather and interpret their data on WEEE. WEEE Europe is a single point of contact for these smaller players, alleviating the minefield of country-specific nuances. Other advantages of a single system include minimising the potential for errors (data can be inputted once as opposed to numerous times) and there will be easy cross-country comparison.
This is the first time that a number of independent not-for-profit take back schemes have united to deliver a unique Europe-wide service to producers. The founding members of WEEE Europe, and any future members of the organisation, represent many of the most capable national schemes in each territory. The real strength is that each of the national schemes remains totally independent, offering the same high quality of service as they do now, but as a shareholder in WEEE Europe. In other words, the schemes own WEEE Europe not the other way around.
Before its operational activities begin in 2015, WEEE Europe will continue building its infrastructure and IT systems whilst continuing talks with key producer schemes and producer partners in other countries – there has been plenty of interest in the project, with very exciting times ahead, in particular for our producer partners, who are, after all, the reason for establishing WEEE Europe in the first place.