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Taking the "e" out of waste

The European Parliament approved new targets for "e" waste collection, but strong opposition is expected from some European Union states.

The Parliament's goals are ambitious: 70-85% of electronic waste generated by EU states should be recovered, 50-75% of it recycled and 5% of this waste reused. Parliament also proposed that all but the smallest electronic retailers should be responsible for taking back, for free, smaller e-waste items such as electric toothbrushes and mobile phones (100 million mobile phones are tossed aside in each year in Europe alone). Going still further, Parliament proposed a stop to the export of e-waste to less developed countries by limiting the countries available for e-waste recovery, recycling and disposal efforts.

With estimates suggesting e-waste has grown worldwide to 50 million metric tons per year (that's 151 Empire State Buildings each year) curbing this waste is seen as increasingly important. The proposal is certainly a bold one and might encourage the US and China (the world's top e-waste producers) to also examine their e-waste policies.

Sources: EurActiv
 


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