UK fails to implement recycling directive

The vast majority of EU members have not yet made the WEEE directive law - a 'disappointment' to the Environment Commissioner

An EU directive on how businesses should get rid of their old PCs has been ignored by 24 out of 25 European member states.

The EU had set the mandate that all member states should have an ICT recycling law in place by a 13 August deadline but only Greece has measured up. The UK has yet to introduce the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive and is consulting on the matter.

Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said she was disappointed by the number of countries who hadn't made the WEEE directive law yet and encouraged them to implement the legislation quickly.

Electrical waste is a growing problem and, according to the EU, each citizen creates 14kg of waste a year. The directive states that each member state will be expected to recover and recycle at least 4kg of that each year.

The directive is expected to become in the UK law this October with businesses having to comply by July 2005. Although businesses will have to make sure their old ICT equipment is recycled, consumers' PCs are exempt.

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