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FRN welcomes European Parliament vote to support establishing a WEEE Reuse Target

The FRN is extremely pleased to see today  (4th October 2011) that the MEPs who make up the European Parliament Environment Council have voted to back the WEEE Directive recast amendments that support the establishment of a reuse target of 5% across the WEEE categories. We hope to see this decision get through the next stages negotiations in January to herald the introduction of the long awaited "reuse target".

Craig Anderson of FRN said "I am hoping the UK Government will now see the opportunity to allow the FRN's membership to help the UK attain future WEEE targets through the intervention of our Approved Reuse Centres (which work to the new PAS:141 WEEE Reuse standard). Our sector can help channel more WEEE and EEE for reuse in a fully compliant manner and we can help ensure that the current leakage of WEEE out of the system and in many cases out of the country ceases as soon as possible."

The Environment Committee's near-unanimous second reading vote (52 in favour, 1 against and 5 abstentions) concerns changes to the current waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Directive. A plenary vote is currently planned for January 2012, to allow negotiations with Council.

"Collecting and recycling e-waste is good for the environment and good for the economy. Parliament's ambitious but achievable targets will help recover valuable raw materials and cut the flow of e-waste to landfills, incinerators and developing countries," said rapporteur Karl-Heinz Florenz.

MEPs say targets should be based on actual e-waste generated, with 85% to be collected by 2016. Council supports a 65% target based on goods going on sale, to be phased in to most EU countries by 2020 and the remainder by 2022. A flat-rate annual target of 4kg per person is currently applied.

The FRN has been lobbying for such a target for more than a decade and this is exactly what we need to get reuse out of the shadow of recycling and help the UK move up the waste hierarchy. As a sector, FRN’s membership makes up a large part of WEEE reusers in the UK and our impact is significant in not only environmental terms, but also in terms of social and economic impact; through our aims to alleviate poverty by providing quality reused goods to low income households and through employment and training programmes. This decision could potentially bring benefit to other Government Departments such as the DWP, DEFRA and MoJ if the correct WEEE reusers are engaged in meeting this new future regulatory requirement.

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