Discount stores and supermarkets will soon have to accept electronic waste


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.

The best smartphones and cell phones


Per

  • Very high pace of work
  • Fast 5G cellular
  • Good camera with night vision and telephoto
  • High-contrast, bright OLED display
  • Innovative MagSafe technology

Cons

  • No jack socket
  • 5G cannot be used with dual SIM
  • No fingerprint sensor


iPhone 12 Pro Max

Per

  • Long battery life
  • Large OLED display
  • Top camera with night vision
  • Fast A14 processor
  • Waterproof
  • 5G

Cons

  • Heavy and a bit top-heavy


8 Pro

Per

  • Brilliant, sharp 120 Hz display
  • Very good photo quality (main camera)
  • Long battery life
  • Fast charging (wireless and wired)
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Average selfie camera
  • No jack connection
  • Inaccurate photo flash


9 Pro

Per

  • Very fast pace
  • Very good display
  • Good photos
  • Super fast charging (also wireless)
  • Dual SIM

Cons

  • Memory cannot be expanded
  • No jack socket


Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Per

  • Super display ?? large, sharp, high-contrast and extremely bright
  • Wifi 6E
  • 5G
  • Real dual SIM (1x 5G)
  • Fast work pace
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Big and heavy
  • No memory card slot
  • No headset jack
  • Power supply not included


Galaxy S20 5G

Per

  • 5G
  • Handy, slim design
  • Brilliant screen
  • Great camera
  • 8K video recording
  • Dual SIM and eSIM
  • Strong battery

Cons

  • Easy face unlock
  • No jack socket
  • No optical telephoto


iPhone 12 mini

Per

  • OLED display with top contrast / colors
  • Very high pace of work
  • 5G cellular
  • Waterproof
  • Very handy size

Cons

  • Display not very bright
  • Telephoto lens is missing


Galaxy S20 Plus

Per

  • Brilliant, big screen
  • Stepless zoom (hybrid up to 3x)
  • 8K video recording
  • eSIM and dual SIM
  • Strong battery

Cons

  • Easy face unlock
  • No jack socket
  • No optical telephoto


Galaxy S20 Plus 5G

Per

  • Brilliant, big screen
  • Top photo quality in daylight
  • Good low light photos
  • 8K video recording
  • eSIM and dual SIM
  • Strong battery
  • 5G cellular network built in

Cons

  • Unsafe face unlock
  • No jack socket
  • No optical telephoto


Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

Per

  • Fast processor
  • Bright, high-contrast display
  • 5G
  • Good camera
  • Waterproof
  • Dual SIM (1 x 5G)

Cons

  • Display could be sharper
  • No memory card slot
  • No jack socket

Complete List: The Best Smartphones and Cell Phones

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.)


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