Published March 6, 2017
European Union - Hazardous Waste, Product Take-back
The European Commission issued two reports on the implementation of the EU product takeback and waste legislation. One report deals with the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles (ELV) for the periods 2008-2011 and 2011-2014, while the other report covers the implementation of EU waste legislation for the period 2010-2012.
The report on the ELV Directive concludes that the ELV Directive has been fully transposed by the Member States. Some cases of non-conformity became subject to infringement procedures and were solved as Member States brought their ELV legislation in line with the Directive. The Directive's implementation is mainly positive with the notable exception of the issue of the ELV of unknown whereabouts. Member States reported good practices working with manufacturers on the composition of materials and the reuse of materials and components, ecodesign is continuously improving, hazardous substances used in cars are almost eliminated, and targets for reuse/recycling/recovery are largely met, but the quality of monitoring data for the targets is a continuing challenge. Illegal collection and trafficking of ELVs also remains a challenge for the effectiveness of the Directive.
This report on the EU waste legislation addresses the implementation of the following directives over the period 2010-2012: the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), Sewage Sludge Directive, Landfill Directive, Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, WEEE Directive, and Batteries Directive. The Commission reports the following findings, among others:
• Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive: Member States have taken action to prevent the generation of packaging waste through a variety of measures. These include prevention plans, producer responsibility schemes, taxation measures, ‘pay as
• you throw' systems, green public procurement, information and awareness-raising campaigns, eco-design and action plans for key industries. Most Member States have taken a variety of measures to encourage re-use. These include deposit and return systems for specific types of packaging, taxation measures, obligations to offer products in reusable packaging, promoting re-use in waste plans and as waste prevention measures, and information and awareness-raising measures. Some Member States have introduced, or plan to introduce, new deposit refund systems.
• WEEE Directive: Most Member States reached the directive's category-specific targets for re-use/recycling and recovery, with rates improving over the reporting period. The highest rates were reported for consumer equipment and small household appliances. With regard to consumer equipment, 26 Member States reached the 65 % re-use/recycling target and the 75 % recovery target. These Member States also reached the 50 % re-use/recycling target and the 70 % recovery target for household appliances.
• Batteries Directive: Most Member States set up collection schemes for batteries and accumulators in the reporting period and a few reported that they were still making these schemes fully operational. Member States have measures in place for the treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators, and reported that they had put in place a range of measures to prevent waste batteries and accumulators being sent to landfill, such as permit systems and lists of types of waste prohibited from landfilling. Eleven Member States reported to have put in place measures going beyond the obligations of the directive. These include minimizing the disposal of waste from industrial and automotive batteries and accumulators as mixed municipal waste, awareness-raising campaigns in schools and communities and making collection points for free take-back available. Two Member States exported waste batteries and accumulators to third countries. A number of Member States exported them to other Member States.
These conclusions are addressed in the recent review of waste policy and legislation. In this review, the Commission proposed to repeal provisions obliging Member States to produce triennial implementation reports and to base compliance monitoring exclusively on quality statistical data that Member States would have to provide annually.