The recast waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Directive was formally adopted by the Council of the European Union on 7 June 2012. As with previous WEEE legislation, the purpose of the Directive is to improve the collection, re-use and recycling of used electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in order to help reduce waste and promote resource efficiency.
The revision process has been lengthy, with the European Commission setting out its original proposals back in December 2008. This reflects the protracted nature of negotiations between institutions and stakeholders as to the precise scope of the Directive and the extent of producers’ obligations under the new WEEE regime.
The Directive will become law later this summer, 20 days after it has been published in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States will then have 18 months to update their national legislation in order to comply with the changes. Thereafter, the new provisions will replace the existing WEEE text (Directive 2002/96/EC).