Initiative: thousands of tons of e-waste were collected

English Section / 26 februarie

Initiative: thousands of tons of e-waste were collected

Versiunea în limba română

The waste suffocates nature and most of the time the authorities assist impassively.

The Environ Association, one of the first organizations licensed in Romania for the transfer of responsibility in the field of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), announced that in 2023 it managed a quantity of 39,165 tons of waste, i.e. 3,413,546 pieces. According to the association: "From robots that replace or simplify human work, smart devices for remote home control, entertainment equipment and even personal care tools, toys or even electronic cigarettes, today electrical equipment has become an integral part of life modern".

According to Eurostat data, the European market for electrical and electronic equipment has grown by 85% in the last 8 years, which implicitly led to an increase in the amount of WEEE type waste. In Romania, only in the year 2021, the last one for which there is data, 13.8 kg of electrical and electronic equipment per capita entered the market, the European average being 23.7 kg/capita. On average, a European owns 74 electronic devices of which at least 13 are unused (of which 4 are broken and 9 are in working order), according to the WEEE Forum.

Roxana Puia, marketing manager of the Environ Association stated: "The increasing consumption of electrical equipment and technology deepens an old problem that already endangers our health and affects the environment: that of electrical waste, storage of some secondary raw materials , some of them even critical, but also of some dangerous substances and gases".

Even if it is the world leader in terms of the amount of electrical waste collected and recycled, Europe still fails to meet the target imposed by Directive 2012/19/EU, i.e. at least 65% of the amount of equipment placed on the market in the previous 3 years. More precisely, the average rate reported at the European level for 2021 is 46.2%, while in Romania the collection rate was 31.7%, company representatives also stated.

According to the legislation in force, the 3,952 companies registered with the National Authority for Environmental Protection, which market electrical and electronic equipment imported or produced under their own brand, have the obligation to manage the waste resulting from the products sold at the end of their life cycle. This is done through the collective responsibility transfer organizations, the minimum WEEE collection rate being 65% of the equipment put on the market. According to the association: "With the nearly 3.5 million pieces of WEEE collected, the Environ Association recorded a collection rate of 65.54%." By category, the most waste collected by Environ was small equipment (over 2 million pieces), large equipment (almost 690 thousand pieces), IT&C equipment (over 470 thousand pieces), heat transfer equipment (refrigerators, air conditioners and others - almost 100 thousand pieces) and televisions with CRT, LCD and LED technologies (64 thousand pieces)".

From the point of view of the sources of generation, the retail collection channel is predominant, and the best performing geographically were the regions of Bucharest - Ilfov, followed by the counties of Olt and Cluj.

The representatives of the Environ Association point out that, "no matter how great the technological progress and the advance of artificial intelligence", electrical devices, from the large ones to the "invisible" ones, do not recycle themselves.

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