Collection and Recycling of WEEE and Batteries

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries are vitally important to modern society, however the consumption is rapidly increasing and so is the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste) and batteries. To minimize the impact on the environment, producers are held responsible for the collection and recycling of WEEE and batteries.

The consumption of electrical and electronic equipment has increased exponentially over the last decades due to rapid technological advancements, consumer trends, economic development etc. Consequently, waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries has followed the same trend. In 2005 approximately 8,3−9,1 million tons of e-waste emerged in the EU, a figure expected to grow to 12 million tons by 2020. This trend has great negative impact on the environment.

The extraction and processing of the raw materials that are used in the production of electronics requires enormous amounts of energy – resulting in emissions of greenhouse gases, nitrogen and sulphur oxides as well as other emissions that are damaging to the environment and human health. Furthermore, electronics and batteries often contain hazardous substances that risk contaminating the environment when the collection and/or recycling of the products is incomplete. Flame retardants, softeners and other chemicals that have proven to have hormone disrupting effects on humans and other organisms are often contained in the plastics that are used in electronic devises. Some electronic devises also contain other hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, selenium and hexavalent chromium. Lead, mercury and cadmium is also used in certain types of batteries.

To minimize the damage to the environment and human health, waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries must be properly collected, recycled and/or re-used (if appropriate) to avoid the loss of useful materials and components and the spreading of hazardous substances.

Within the EU, producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries have therefore been required to finance the take-back and recycling of their products ever since the WEEE- and Battery Directive came into force (2003 and 2006 respectively). To prevent costs for the management of WEEE from falling on society or the remaining producers in case of bankruptcy, the WEEE directive (2012/19/EU) requires that each producer provide a financial guarantee when placing a product on the market. Financial guarantees are not yet required for waste batteries and accumulators, but the situation might change after a recast of the Battery Directive (2006/66/EC).

To minimize the damage to the environment and human health, EIS helps producer responsibility schemes to set up appropriate financial guarantees to cover their collective liabilities. Each scheme is set up as a protected cell within the PCC structure, allowing EIS to provide low-risk cost-effective solutions tailored to each schemes’ needs. Some of the advantages of EIS’ financial guarantees for the management of WEEE and waste batteries and accumulators are listed below:

  • EIS PCC Ltd. provides the most cost-effective and low-risk alternative on the market
  • EIS PCC Ltd. helps producers to foresee otherwise “unexpected” costs and reduces the economic risk related to waste management
  • The financial guarantee provided by EIS PCC Ltd. ensures that money is kept for future waste-management costs even in the event of a scheme’s bankruptcy – ensuring that neither society nor other producers will have to bear the costs.

If your producer responsibility scheme or company is in need of a financial guarantee, other insurance solution or just curious about the services that we offer – do not hesitate to contact us.