What to do with old electrical appliances like razors and cell phones? From July 1, 2022 at the latest, consumers can hand in used technology free of charge at the supermarket or discounter. This provides for an amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act, which the Bundestag passed on April 15, 2021. For small devices such as mobile phones or flashlights, the return applies regardless of whether a new product is purchased. For larger old devices such as televisions, she applies when buying a new item.
Electronic waste levy: the rules
The prerequisite for the extended take-back obligation is a retail space of more than 800 square meters. In addition, the affected dealers have to offer electrical appliances themselves several times a year. Regular sales of lamps are sufficient for this. The amendment to the law also provides that collection points are to be provided with a uniform label so that consumers can recognize them quickly.
Free disposal should increase the recycling rate
Online retailers should also offer their customers a free collection and disposal of old devices with every purchase of new electrical appliances. The Federal Environment Ministry assumes that the new regulations will increase the collection and recycling rate. “Easily accessible collection points are the best prerequisite for properly disposing of old electrical devices. If old devices are properly collected, pollutants can be reliably discharged and valuable raw materials can be recovered,” says Svenja Schulze (SPD), Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Old devices: details on the recycling rate
Otherwise, old cell phones, flashlights and razors would be forgotten and stored in drawers. “Other old devices end up in the residual waste or are illegally marketed. That has to change,” demanded Schulze. According to their ministry, around 86 percent of the electrical appliances collected were recycled in 2018. However, in the same year only around 43 percent of the waste electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market was actually collected.
The change in the law has yet to pass the Federal Council and is to come into force on January 1, 2022. A transition period of six months applies to trading. (With material from the dpa.)