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Enablers and barriers for producer responsibility in the electrical and electronic equipment sector

: Besiou, Maria; Wassenhove, N. Luk van; Williams, Ian; Ongondo, Francis; Curran, Tony; O'Connor, Clementine; Man-Yu Yang, Mona; Dietrich, Johannes; Marwede, Max; Gallo, Maitane; Arnaiz, Sixto; Woolman, Tim; Kopacek, Bernd; Obersteiner, Gudrun

Lang, Klaus-Dieter; Nissen, Nils F.; Middendorf, Andreas; Chancerel, Perrine ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration -IZM-, Berlin:
Electronics Goes Green 2012+. Proceedings. CD-ROM : Joint International Conference and Exhibition; September 9 - 12, 2012, Berlin, Germany
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer Verlag, 2012
ISBN: 978-3-8396-0439-7 (CD-ROM)
ISBN: 3-8396-0439-7 (CD-ROM)
ISBN: 978-1-4673-4512-5 (Print)
Joint International Conference and Exhibition "Electronics Goes Green" <4, 2012, Berlin>
Fraunhofer IZM ()

ZeroWIN (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Net-works - is a five year project funded by the EC under the 7th Framework Programme. A core component of the zero waste approach is the concept of integrated industrial systems where a waste product from a process in one industry becomes a value-added input for another. Amongst others, ZeroWIN examines how producers´ responsibility (PR) can be applied in the electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and photovoltaic (PV) sectors. Discussion about extending producers´ responsibility for environmental impacts of their products to the entire product life cycle began in the 1990s. In 1991 Germany's Packaging Ordinance shifted the costs of collecting and recycling used packaging from municipalities to producers holding them responsible for managing packaging waste. Based on this Ordinance, the European Union (EU) Packaging Directive additionally urges the design of the packaging to facilitate its recovery at its end of life. In 2000 EU Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles was passed with similar goals and structure as the packaging Directive. More recently, EU Directive on the management of waste EEE clearly mentions producers´ responsibility. In the EEE sector, producers are held responsible also for the post-consumer stage of a product´s life-cycle in some States in USA, Japan, China, Singapore and Switzerland. In the PV sector, globally there is no PR legislation that has been already implemented. Only in EU, the WEEE Directive is now under recast with the new Directive including photovoltaic waste, suggesting also collection rates for this waste category. Based on the PR concept, this paper identifies and critically discusses global implementation of producer responsibility in the photovoltaic and EEE industrial sectors. To identify enablers and barriers for producer responsibility, case studies of different actors in the EEE and PV industrial networks were carried out. These actors included component suppliers, producers, refurbishers, recyclers, governmental bodies and collective schemes. In total 7 case studies were conducted for the EEE sector and 7 for the PV. The low return rates of used EEE and the insufficient regulatory measures (for example measures that hold only the final producers responsible and provide them with limited design initiatives) were identified from the literature review and the case studies as important barriers in the EEE sector. Providing incentives to the producers to return their used EEE and regulatory measures that will also hold the suppliers responsible, with differentiated fees for products that are easier to recover could be the corresponding facilitators. In the PV sector important barriers are that there is no PR legislation implemented yet so the companies are free to withdraw from voluntary schemes when these exist and there is higher risk of uncontrollable disposal of PV panels when they reach their end-of-life. From the literature and case studies it was apparent that knowledge could be transferred from the EEE sector. PR regulations are needed that should require the responsibility to be also shared with the components manufacturers and the PV panels to be collected separately and not mixed with other WEEE product categories.