Currently, approximately 53.6 million tons of e-waste are generated worldwide each year, and this figure is expected to increase to 110 million tons by 2050. E-waste is an inherently complex waste stream, and a collection and appropriate recycling play a decisive role. in the prevention of pollution due to inappropriate treatment. This maximizes the environmental benefits in terms of resources, CO2 and energy savings. Efficient e-waste shipments are also key to maintaining the pace at which circular value chains recover e-waste.
E-waste recyclers in Europe are already well equipped to meet this societal challenge with state-of-the-art facilities that meet the highest environmental standards. As such, a working circular economy for e-waste that addresses environmental and human health concerns already exists. However, new Basel Convention rules that could be incorporated into the OECD framework would impose burdensome additional requirements that risk derailing e-waste recycling.
“There is no need to reinvent the wheel,” says Olivier François, President of EuRIC, the European Confederation of Recycling Industries. “Recyclers in Europe are already setting the international benchmark for their commitment to the highest environmental and human health standards in an already functioning market. The implementation of the new Basel rules would risk hindering rather than facilitating the recycling of electronic waste. Instead, regulatory intervention should focus on reducing illegal shipments,” he added.
As such, European recyclers support Japan’s proposal to retain GC010 and GC020 in Appendix 3, Part II of the OECD Decision and not to subject movements of non-hazardous e-waste within the Avoid the onerous administrative procedures imposed by prior informed consent.