JULY 2008

UK electronics waste recycling market continues growing

The waste electronics recycling industry is growing in Europe and is mainly due to legislation; principally the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and by the ROHS (Restriction on use of certain Hazardous Substances) directive, which represent the most important driver in this market. The WEEE Directive aims to increase the re-use, recycling and recovery of waste by limiting the amount of waste going to final disposal and providing an incentive for producers to design more environmentally-friendly electrical and electronic equipment through producer responsibility. This measure, along with associated local legislation, has already had a strong impact on the fast increasing waste stream of electrical and electronic equipment across the EU.

With respect to impact, legislation, along with landfill site scarcity in certain countries, will be the most important driver for both prices and volumes in the waste recycling industry. Legislation is based on producer liability and includes a take-back obligation that aggressively supports recycling of major components. The impact of legislation as a key driver in this market is already visible in countries which have created strong local laws to supplement these EU policies.