With the purpose of preventing and reducing waste from electrical and electronic equipment (EE-equipment) and of promoting reuse and recycling in order to reduce resource consumption, the EU Commission prepared already back in 1998 the first draft directive minimising the environmental burden caused by WEEE. This directive was finally adopted in 2002. It is drafted according to the producer responsibility model: producers - and importers - must take responsibility for their products, also in the disposal stage. In addition to seeking to prevent waste arisings and optimise resource use in the product development the directive contains targets regarding collection and recovery of EE equipment at the end of its useful life.
The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) sets up common EU rules on the management of WEEE. The rules take offset in considerations for the environment and resources and aim to limit the quantity of WEEE for disposal. On the one hand, the objective is to invite producers to produce environmentally benign products and on the other hand to increase recycling, recovery, and other forms of utilisation. Thus, the WEEE Directive has focus on product design, quantities placed on the market, and disposal of EE equipment.
The WEEE Directive is supported by the RoHS Directive (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances) limiting or banning the use of a number of harmful substances contained in EE equipment.
You can read more about legislation on the following pages.