We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

EU plans strict rules on PC disposal

Europe approves new e-waste guidelines

New rules on disposing of your old laptop, printer or mobile phone look set to come into force in the European Union. The European Parliament on Thursday voted to pass stricter laws on how the bloc deals with electronic and electrical equipment waste.

The proposed new rules could have a real impact on both consumers and companies as members of Parliament (MEPs) want consumers to be able to return small items to retailers to dispose of safely. They also say that companies can contribute to the cause by designing products in such a way that materials are easier to recycle - they voted for a 50 percent to 75 percent recycling target (depending on category) and support a new 5 percent reuse goal.

The proposal would also see the scope of the law extended to all electrical and electronic equipment, including medical devices and monitoring and control instruments.

Obsolete and broken electrical appliances and electronic gadgets are the EU's fastest-growing type of waste and legislators want to see that reduced or reused. Parliament wants member states to collect 85 percent of all electronic waste produced from 2016. It also proposes a 2012 target: countries should collect 4 kilograms of electronic waste per inhabitant or the weight collected in 2010, whichever is greater.

"We can no longer afford to waste our waste. Parliament has sent a strong message that public authorities, manufacturers and consumers all need to play their part to ensure we collect and recycle more of our electrical and electronic goods," said MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, who steered the legislation through Parliament.

Tougher measures to prevent the export of electronic waste to developing countries, where it can pose a health and environmental hazard, have also been recommended.


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft Band UK release date and price rumours, features and specs: Microsoft smartwatch unveiled

IDG UK Sites

Why Sony's PS4 2.0 update is every gamer's dream (well, mine at least)

IDG UK Sites

Watch new Grolsch ad that combines stop-motion & CG for majestic results

IDG UK Sites

Apple rumours and predictions for 2015: What to expect from Apple in 2015