National lamp recycling target likely to increase

The Government has consulted on the national targets for household WEEE recycling, including the target for waste lamp recycling.  In 2014, the national target was 830 tonnes.  However, in its consultation, the Government has proposed increasing the target in 2015 to 2680 tonnes.  This is a significant increase, which in part is intended to allow for the fact that more business WEEE will be reported as household in 2015.


Recolight highlights of 2013

2013 was an important year for Recolight and for the lighting industry, which saw the recast of the WEEE Directive and its transposition into law through the revised WEEE Regulations.  I wanted to highlight some of the most exciting developments, which came towards the end of last year.


WEEE regulations

In support of the WEEE Directive

Recolight supports the WEEE Directive

The recast of the WEEE directive was at long last published in the Official Journal this month.  It has taken over four years to prepare. Recolight strongly supports many of the changes it introduces – particularly the increased member state collection targets.  It is not yet clear how these will be cascaded within the UK.


Recasting the WEEE Directive

The process of “recasting” the WEEE Directive is now well into its second reading. There are three distinct groups involved in the process – the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers (composed of representatives of all the Member States) and the European Commission. There are many points of disagreement between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are two key issues that separate them – and that positions may be polarizing rather than converging.


An update on the changes to the WEEE Directive

I have been paying close attention to the twists and turns in the recast of the WEEE Directive with particular interest. Over two years ago, the first proposals to recast the WEEE Directive were made. A firm commitment to the changes put forward has still not been made because the three bodies involved in making a decision – the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Environment Council – have not been able to agree on exactly how to tackle issues such as collection targets, where much of the debate is centred.

The current Directive gives each Member State a target to collect 4kg of waste electrical goods per head of population; the UK currently comfortably beats this target with over 7kg of collections per person. The Recast proposes that new targets, based on the previous years’ sales, are introduced. Lots of ideas have been put forward on what criteria should be used from an average percentage target of “put on market” tonnage to a higher 85% target based on the ambiguous term “WEEE arising.”

By the beginning of March 2011, no decision that all parties could accept had been reached in Europe on either the percentage or what method should be used to decide the collection target.

If the UK is to meet any potential future collection targets, the level of collection and reporting of WEEE is going to have to rise substantially. The Environment Agency figures showed that last year the UK collection rate of business WEEE was just 4.8% – that’s way behind the proposed 45% starting target.

There is large scale recycling taking place in the UK but it isn’t all being recorded. So although we currently meet and exceed the current EU targets, if the Recast changes the way the targets are calculated, the UK will be considerably behind its legal recycling obligations.

Recolight welcomes recommended recast of WEEE Regulations

Recolight has welcomed many of the recommendations made by Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP in his report to the European Parliament on the recast of the WEEE Directive. Florenz is the Rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on Climate Change.

The report includes several key recommendations which, if implemented, will have a lasting effect on the collection of lamps, not just in the UK, but across Europe.




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