European Council softens WEEE targets

Posted on 17th March, 2011

Initial proposals in February 2011 to introduce an 85 per cent collection target in the revised Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive have been softened following a consideration of the European Parliament’s decision by the Council of the EU.

A Council consideration of the decision has “foreseen” a collection rate of 45 per cent of annual WEEE weight put onto the market in the member state four years after the legislation arrives, and rising to 65 per cent four years afterwards.

The consideration of the legislation was attended by both Defra secretary Caroline Spelman and Energy secretary Chris Huhne.

A Defra spokesperson said: “This agreement is an important step on the road towards agreeing a new Europe-wide Directive by next year.  Member States have agreed to tougher recycling targets of electrical and electronic equipment, while at the same time reducing red tape for business.”

The second stage of negotiations for the final WEEE Directive, which will seek agreement with the European Parliament, will be held under the Polish Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2011.