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Global issues call for global solutions: the WEEE Forum expands with five new members

Published : Friday, March 18, 2022, 12:17 pm
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The WEEE Forum continues to make a real impact as an international association that brings together Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) from across the world. It is the only organisation of its kind, that focusses on electronic waste matters. Continuing its global expansion, the company has announced that five PROs have joined recently, bringing its membership to 46 spread over six continents, its highest ever.

The organisation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, which coincides with 20 years of the EU Directive, the world’s first (and only) supranational WEEE legislation based on EPR principles. In the context of worldwide e-waste levels continuing to rise by around 3% per annum – and expected to reach in excess of 74 million tonnes in 2030 according to UN research – attracting new organisations not only reflects the desire of the WEEE Forum to spread best practice and engage with actors in all parts of the world, it also shows the commitment of the growing global movement to ensuring that e-waste is collected and treated responsibly. This paves the way for a Global EPR approach in the future which would align the worldwide policy on the e-waste issue.

The new members bring expertise in very specific areas. PV CYCLE Consorzio Italia and PV CYCLE UK are the first photovoltaics-only PROs in the WEEE Forum. Their voice will be crucial in the discussions around meeting the EU collection targets based on the 'put on the market' (POM) principle. The targets do not specify a special category for PV panels and while significant amounts of photovoltaic panels are being installed (POM) in Europe every year, they are not yet arising as waste in significant quantities due to the long lifespan of these products and recent market penetration. Read more on the topic in this paper.

Lightcycle SA NPC is one of the few PROs in the WEEE Forum that predominantly collects lamps and associated lighting equipment in addition to electrical and electronic waste and associated packaging. Founded in 2018, the mission of Lightcycle SA NPC is to establish and facilitate on behalf of all its producers an environmentally sound and efficient take-back scheme within South Africa.

ARCwaste is a young EPR organisation created in 2020 which implements circular economy in Romania while MoldControl is the representative of 120 producers of electrical and electronic equipment in Moldova, Romania's eastern neighbour. Its membership was facilitated by the WEEE Forum’s twinning initiative which sees an experienced PRO, in this case ECOTIC of Romania, partnering with a new member to pass on knowledge and expertise.

"The WEEE Forum is at the forefront of turning the extended producer responsibility principle into an effective electronic waste management policy approach through our combined knowledge of all management aspects of collection, logistics, de-pollution, processing, preparing for reuse and reporting of e-waste” says Pascal Leroy, WEEE Forum’s Director General. “Through initiatives such as International E-Waste Day we have seen that e-waste is becoming an issue of great concern at global level. Therefore, we are even more pleased to share our expertise with our new members, but also to benefit from the experience they bring to the association”.

On 7 December this year the WEEE Forum will organise an international, 20th anniversary, ‘EPR Grand Challenge conference’ in Brussels to provide a strategic foresight for the future of the e-waste sector.

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