Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano a Todos!!
E.U. parliament approves law making companies pay for recycling electronic waste
>By Paul Ames, Associated Press
>Thursday, December 19, 2002
>BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Parliament adopted laws Wednesday obliging
>manufacturers to pay for the recycling of electrical goods ranging from
>shavers to refrigerators and laptop computers.
>The European Union's assembly, meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted by an
>overwhelming show of hands to approve the "electroscrap" laws after more
>than three years of debate.
>Under the new rules, the EU hopes up to 75 percent of such goods can be
>recycled. The law is due to come into force in September 2005.
>The E.U. estimates old appliances account now for some 6 million tons of
>waste across Europe, most of which goes into landfills.
>Karl-Heinz Florenz, the German conservative who steered the bill through
>Parliament, said it would "meet the needs of consumers, environmentalists
>Manufacturers estimated the rules could cost them some 7.5 billion euro
>(US$7.7 billion) a year to collect and dispose of the waste.
>They warn the increases could be passed on to consumers, ranging from 50
>euro cents (about 50 U.S. cents) for a small appliance such as a coffee
>maker to up to 20 euros (about US$20) for a fridge.
>However, companies generally welcomed the new rules as a pragmatic solution
>to the environmental problems caused by electroscrap.
>They were pleased that each manufacturer will pay for recycling its own
>waste once the plan is fully operational, instead of sharing costs across
>"A level playing field is vital. Manufacturers should never be forced to pay
>for other than their own waste," said Luigi Meli, director general of the
>European Committee of Electric Equipment Manufacturers.
>Producers will, however, have to share the costs of disposing of equipment
>sold before the law comes into force.
>Four leading electrical manufactures - Electrolux, Hewlett-Packard, Sony,
>and Braun - met in Brussels this week to consider how best to gather in and
>dispose of old goods.
>"Our aim is to identify high-quality recycling services on the best terms
>for the European market to minimize the costs passed onto consumers," Hans
>Korfmacher of Germany's Braun said Monday.
>The law also told E.U. governments to "take appropriate measures" against
>companies that design equipment specifically to prevent reuse, forcing
>customers into buying new goods. Officials said the measure was aimed at
>producers of computer printer ink cartridges who introduced design features
>to make ink refills more difficult.
>The new laws also will also ban the use of toxic substances such as lead,
>mercury and cadmium in such household appliances from 2006.
>Copyright 2002 - Associated Press
Mary Jean O'Donnell
Waste Management Specialist
Box 57102-2480 East Hastings