UK gets final warning on e-waste

UK gets final warning on e-waste

Summary: The European Commission is losing patience with Britain's failure to bring in laws forcing companies and manufacturers to be responsible for IT recycling

TOPICS: Government UK

The UK could be dragged before the European Court for its failure to implement laws that would make manufacturers responsible for the recycling of IT waste.

The European Commission announced on Monday that it was taking legal action against Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland and the UK. All eight countries have yet to enact the EU Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive into national law.

"We need an explanation as to why countries can't implement legislation. This directive had been on the books for a long time, and other countries have implemented it," a spokeswoman for the EC's environment commissioner told ZDNet UK.

The EC has sent letters to these eight countries asking for their reasons for not implementing the WEEE directive. They have 60 days to respond. If the EC is not happy with their reasons then it will refer the matter to the European Court, which could order a country to act.

Ultimately, if these countries don't transpose the directive into national law then they could face an unlimited fine, but it is unlikely that the situation will reach that stage.

"There is always a certain flexibility in the system," said the spokeswoman, emphasising that the Commission wants to get its legislation enacted across Europe rather than take countries to court.

WEEE is intended to make manufacturers and consumers of technology more responsible for its disposal. The UK government has repeatedly delayed turning the WEEE directive into national law. The original target was 2004, but this later slipped to August 2005 and then to January 2006.

Topic: Government UK

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  • I wish it didn't have to come to this, even now if we [UK] do entwine this WEEE legislation into British law it'll probrably be done by halves.

    I notice Germany is absent from this lest and as an environmentalist I know how good they are at recycling as a whole, why the UK governemnt cannot follow suit is simply beyond me.

    If you're sseking an outrageous statement from me, and environmentalist, possibly proposing we [UK] forfit our righ to the EU presidency or ecconomic penalties I am going to dissapoint, and now you know how I feel.
  • Take environment seriously please.

    The menace of hazardous waste is always tried to be regulated both by the Public International Law as well as by the Municipal/State law. All countries of the world have rules, regulations and laws in place to take care of hazardous waste. Thus, a country has to take care of both International Treaties and Conventions on the one hand and its own nation on the other.

    The International Rules and Regulations prohibit, or at least regulate, the dealings in hazardous wastes and their dealings are confined to highly regulated spheres only. This is because they are harmful to the environment at large.

    That is why there is a provision called Anti Dumping measures that all countries invoke to prevent it from being converted into a large dumping yard.

    Further, donation of used computers to underdeveloped and developing nations may also attract the wrath of Anti-dumping measures and other laws prohibiting import and dumping of hazardous waste.

    Thus, countries must think about an alternative arrangement right now as it is high time to take care of hazardous waste.

    The present requirement is to achieve "sustainable development" without compromising the "environmental concerns".
    Thus, recyclable products can be a better option.